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Liver X Receptors (LXR): Detoxing, Weight & Anti-Infection

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

LXR helps metabolize fat, decrease inflammation (especially in the gut), fight infections, improve glucose tolerance and detox. Read on if you have issues with these.

Liver X receptors (LXRs) are important regulators of cholesterol, fatty acid, and glucose homeostasis.

The Benefits of LXR

Low LXR activity is thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis.

Mice without LXRα are healthy when fed with a low-cholesterol diet. However, they develop enlarged fatty livers, degeneration of liver cells, high cholesterol levels in the liver, and impaired liver function when fed a high-cholesterol diet.

LXRs also regulate lipid homeostasis in the brain. Mice without LXR develop neurodegenerative changes in brain tissue.

LXR activators are effective for treatment in mouse models of atherosclerosis, diabetes, inflammation, and Alzheimer’s disease.

LXR activators lower cholesterol level in blood and liver. They improve glucose tolerance in mice by decreasing insulin resistance. In mice, they decrease amyloidal beta production in Alzheimer’s.

LXR activators were also shown to suppress the proliferation of prostate cancer and breast cancer cells as well as delay progression of prostate cancer [1].

LXR decreases inflammation by inhibiting Nf-kB [2].

LXR represses a set of inflammatory genes after activation by bacterial components or cytokines [2].

LXR increases xenobiotic transport proteins, such as MDR1 (ABCB1) and MRP2 (ABCC2) [2].

Less LXR is thought to play a causal role in Ulcerative Colitis [2].

Loss of LXR function compromised innate immunity in an animal model, which shows the importance of LXR for a normal functioning immune system [3].

LXR plays an anti-microbial role and protects against Tuberculosis [4].

LXR can help prevent amyloid beta formation, which causes Alzheimer’s [5].

LXR helps the secretion of insulin, which helps combat diabetes [6].

The Negatives of LXR

LXR inhibits the production of the precursor for thyroid hormones, TRH [7].

Technical: LXR competes with PPAR-α for RXR [1, 8].

LXR and Weight

It’s not clear exactly what the effect of Liver X Receptors (LXR) on weight is, but it has an effect depending on a variety of environments and factors.

Mice without LXR are resistant to certain protocols of diet-induced obesity, but they have shown increased fat tissue mass [9].

Over-expression and activation of LXRα in mouse white fat cells increased the release of free fatty acids. LXR activators increased free fatty acids in the blood, suggesting an increased release of fat from fat cells (dependent on the decreased PLIN1) [10].

Activation of LXR in white fat cells increased the expression of the enzyme (Elovl3) that correlates with fatty acid oxidation [10].

LXR activation shifts oxidation toward the utilization of fats instead of carbohydrates [10].

In contrast to findings in white fat cells, LXR prevents the oxidation and energy expenditure in brown fat cells [10].

In sum, while activation of LXR seems to increase fat oxidation in white fat cells, it suppresses energy dissipation in brown fat cells [10].

Top Natural Ways to Increase LXR

Other Ways to Increase LXR

Dietary fix: Limit Omega-6’s, because PUFAs and arachidonic acid are antagonists to LXR, which means they block LXR [8].

Pathways to increase LXR: SIRT1 [11], PGC-1a [12], T3 increases LXR products [7].

  • Taurine [13] – also inhibits
  • Sterols/Stanols [8]
  • Chrysin [14]
  • Sitosterol [8]
  • Cineole (in essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, sage, rosemary – these oils are Generally Recognized As Safe for consumption (GRAS)) [8]
  • Cyanidin (common in fruits and veggies) [8]
  • Diterpenes (steviol- Stevia, Forskolin) [8]

What Inhibits LXR

  • Arsenic [15]
  • Genistein [8]
  • Taurine [8]
  • Naringenin [8]
  • Okra [8]
  • White Button Mushroom [8]

LXR Genetics

Check out SelfDecode to find out what your genotype is.

  1. RS1405655 (LXR)
  2. RS17373080 (LXR)
  3. RS2279238 (LXR)
  4. RS2695121 (LXR)

If you want to interpret your genes, you should use SelfDecode.

SelfDecode is a sister company of SelfHacked. The proceeds from your purchase of this product are reinvested into our research and development, in order to serve you better. Thank you for your support.

Images of Liver X Receptors


Inflammation blocks LXR production of genes. LXR inhibits Nf-kB.

JCI0627883.f3 liver-x-protien-lxr-statins

LXR and PPAR gamma bidirectionally activate each other.

download (1)

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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