Vitamin E has the ability to scavenge a wide spectrum of free radicals, including singlet oxygen, superoxide, and hydroxyl radicals. It has beneficial effects against several other disorders, such as atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease, because it acts as a transcriptional regulator for gene expression via a transcription factor TAP. The beneficial effect of vitamin E on plasma insulin and glucagon levels was examined using radioimmunoassay technique. Diabetes was induced in rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight. Vitamin E was given at a dose of either 0.2 mg, 0.4 mg, or 0.8 mg per animal 10 days before and after the onset of diabetes. Vitamin E significantly (P < 0.05) increased plasma insulin levels in normal rats but failed to increase the plasma insulin level in diabetic rats. In contrast, vitamin E caused a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in plasma glucagon level in rats treated before and after the onset of diabetes. Vitamin E may ameliorate some diabetic complication via reduction in the level of circulating glucagon.