Type 2 diabetes patients are subject to oxidative stress as a result of hyperglycemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of the antioxidant folic acid, previously shown to reduce homocysteine levels, would reduce circulating levels of Hsp70 while improving the condition of type 2 diabetes patients with microalbuminuria. Plasma homocysteine fell from pretreatment values of 12.9 to 10.3 microM (P < 0.0001). The urine albumin-creatinine ratio fell from 12.4 to 10.4 mg/mM (P = 0.38). Pretreatment Hsp70 levels were higher in patients not taking insulin (5.32 ng/mL) compared with those on insulin (2.44 ng/mL) (P = 0.012). Folic acid supplementation resulted in a significant fall in Hsp70 (5.32 to 2.05 ng/mL) (P = 0.004). There was no change in Hsp70 in those receiving insulin. Folic acid supplementation in non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes patients, therefore, resulted in a fall in Hsp70, reflecting an improvement in oxidative stress. The data shows that improvement in homocysteine status can lead to a reduction in Hsp70, indicating the possibility of its use as a marker for severity of disease.