Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by impaired glucose metabolism that leads to retinopathy, brain micro-infarcts and other complications. We have previously shown that oral glycine administration to diabetic rats inhibits non-enzymatic glycation of hemoglobin and diminishes renal damage. In this work, we evaluated the capacity of the amino acid glycine (1% w/v, 130 mM) to attenuate diabetic complications in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic Wistar rats and compared them with non-treated or taurine-treated (0.5% w/v, 40 mM) diabetic rats. Glycine-treated diabetic rats showed an important diminution in the percentage of animals with opacity in lens and microaneurysms in the eyes. Interestingly, there was a diminished expression of O-acetyl sialic acid in brain vessels compared with untreated diabetic rats (P<0.05). Additionally, peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from glycine-treated diabetic rats showed a better proliferative response to PHA or ConA than those obtained from non-treated diabetic rats (P<0.05). Glycine-treated rats had a less intense corporal weight loss in comparison with non-treated animals. Our results suggest that administration of glycine attenuates the diabetic complications in the STZ-induced diabetic rat model, probably due to inhibition of the non-enzymatic glycation process.