Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a temporary disruption of ER homeostasis, which acts as a protective response of cells. However, prolonged ER stress is a critical factor in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes, obesity, and their related disorders. Recently, a vast array of research has focused on the effects of plant-based components on alleviating ER stress by suppressing unfolded protein response signaling pathways, such as hesperidin, tectorigenin, resveratrol, naringenin, and vitexin, thus exhibiting protective effects on metabolic disorders. Meanwhile, several food contaminants such as insecticides (including pyrethroids and neonicotinoids) have been found to aggravate ER-stress-induced neuronal apoptosis and further lead to neurotoxicity. In this review, the opposite roles of phytochemicals and food contaminants and their underlying mechanisms related to ER stress have been summarized in order to come up with potential strategies to prevent the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome. All rights reserved, Elsevier.

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