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LXR helps metabolize fat, decrease inflammation (especially in 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.

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

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 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 improves 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. (Ref)

LXR decreases inflammation by inhibiting Nf-kB (R).

LXR represses a set of inflammatory genes after activation by bacterial components or cytokines (R).

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

Less LXR is thought to play a causal role in Ulcerative Colitis (R).

Loss of LXR function compromised innate immunity in an animal model, which shows the importance of LXR for a normal functioning immune system (R).

LXR plays an anti-microbial role and protects against Tuberculosis (R).

LXR can help prevent amyloid beta formation, which causes Alzheimer’s (R).

LXR helps the secretion of insulin, which helps combat diabetes (R).

The Negatives of LXR

LXR inhibits the production of the precursor for thyroid hormones, TRH (R).

Technical: LXR competes with PPAR-α for RXR. (Ref, Ref2)

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 are show increased fat tissue mass (R).

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

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

LXR activation shifts oxidation toward utilization of fats instead of carbohydrates (R).

In contrast to findings in white fat cells, LXR prevents the oxidation and energy expenditure in brown fat cells (R).

In sum, while activation of LXR seems to increase fat oxidation in white fat cells, it suppresses energy dissipation in brown fat cells (R).

Top 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 (R).

Pathways to increase LXR: SIRT1 (R), PGC-1a (R), T3 increases LXR products (R).

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

What Inhibits LXR

LXR Genetics

You need to order your 23andme to find out what your genotype is.

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

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 bidrectionally activate each other.

download (1)

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  • Jana Ball

    Interesting article, thank you. What about milk thistle? Would this boost LXR in your opinion?

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