With the rapidly increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), specific dietary components with anti-diabetic efficacy could be one strategy with therapeutic potential. In the present study, the anti-diabetic effects of an amino acid, pyroglutamic acid (PA), found in vegetables and fruits were investigated in T2DM models using Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats and KK-Ay mice by measuring glucose tolerance and other markers of diabetes. Moreover, the effect of PA on gene expression in GK rats was measured by DNA microarray analysis. Oral glucose tolerance and serum insulin levels were reduced by PA in both animal models. Serum and liver total cholesterol levels were also improved by PA. Expression of genes involved with gluconeogenesis and those involved with its related transcription factor were down-regulated by feeding PA. In KK-Ay mice, the glucokinase:glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) activity ratio increased. From these results, it is suggested that dietary PA beneficially modifies glucose and lipid metabolism in diabetic animals, and can potentially contribute to the mitigation of T2DM.