Evidence Based This post has 15 references

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

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Reviewed by Nattha Wannissorn, PhD (Molecular Genetics) | Last updated:

SelfHacked has the strictest sourcing guidelines in the health industry and we almost exclusively link to medically peer-reviewed studies, usually on PubMed. We believe that the most accurate information is found directly in the scientific source.

We are dedicated to providing the most scientifically valid, unbiased, and comprehensive information on any given topic.

Our team comprises of trained MDs, PhDs, pharmacists, qualified scientists, and certified health and wellness specialists.

All of our content is written by scientists and people with a strong science background.

Our science team is put through the strictest vetting process in the health industry and we often reject applicants who have written articles for many of the largest health websites that are deemed trustworthy. Our science team must pass long technical science tests, difficult logical reasoning and reading comprehension tests. They are continually monitored by our internal peer-review process and if we see anyone making material science errors, we don't let them write for us again.

Our goal is to not have a single piece of inaccurate information on this website. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please leave a comment or contact us at [email protected]

Note that each number in parentheses [1, 2, 3, etc.] is a clickable link to peer-reviewed scientific studies. A plus sign next to the number “[1+, 2+, etc...]” means that the information is found within the full scientific study rather than the abstract.

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

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO and founder of SelfDecode. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(4 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.