Free radicals and oxidative stress have been implicated in the etiology of diabetes and its complications. This in vivo study has examined whether subacute administration of pycnogenol, a French pine bark extract containing procyanidins that have strong antioxidant potential, alters biomarkers of oxidative stress in normal and diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in female Sprague-Dawley rats by a single injection of streptozotocin (90 mg/kg body weight, ip), resulting (after 30 days) in subnormal body weight, increased serum glucose concentrations, and an increase in liver weight, liver/body weight ratios, total and glycated hemoglobin, and serum aspartate aminotransferase activity. Normal and diabetic rats were treated with pycnogenol (10 mg/kg body weight/day, ip) for 14 days. Pycnogenol treatment significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations in diabetic rats. Biochemical markers for oxidative stress were assessed in the liver, kidney, and heart. Elevated hepatic catalase activity in diabetic rats was restored to normal levels after pycnogenol treatment. Additionally, diabetic rats treated with pycnogenol had significantly elevated levels of reduced glutathione and glutathione redox enzyme activities. The results demonstrate that pycnogenol alters intracellular antioxidant defense mechanisms in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.