Although angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) have been recommended as a first line of anti-hypertensive agents in patients with diabetes, it remains unclear whether ARBs have a favorable effect on insulin action and triglyceride (TG) metabolism, both of which are impaired in type 2 diabetes. In this study we addressed this issue by investigating how a newly developed ARB, olmesartan medoxomil, influenced insulin sensitivity and TG metabolism in fructose-fed rats, a representative animal model of insulin resistance. Olmesartan was administrated as a 0.01% drinking solution ad libitum to rats either fed normal chow or fructose-enriched chow (60%) for 21 days. Olmesartan treatment markedly decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both chow-fed and fructose-fed animals. The area under the curve of insulin (AUCI) was substantially greater in fructose-fed rats in the intravenous glucose tolerance test, and olmesartan treatment significantly reduced the AUCI. Olmesartan significantly improved the insulin sensitivity index in fructose-fed rats assessed by Bergman's minimal model without affecting insulin-independent glucose disposal. Olmesartan significantly decreased plasma TG and non-esterified fatty acid levels in fructose-fed rats without affecting lipoprotein lipase mass. The TG secretion rate determined by the triton WR1339 technique was two-fold higher in fructose-fed rats, but olmesartan restored the TG secretion to a normal rate. Olmesartan did not affect plasma parameters, insulin sensitivity or TG metabolism in chow-fed rats. Olmesartan ameliorates insulin resistance and overproduction of TG in fructose-fed rats, and these effects appear to be independent of its hypotensive action.