BACKGROUND Vanadate treatment to diabetic rats has been reported to correct the altered carbohydrate metabolism and antioxidant status. However, vanadate exerts these effects at relatively high doses and several toxic effects are produced. We used low doses of vanadate in combination with Trigonella foenum graecum seed powder (TSP) and evaluated their effect on the enzyme changes in diabetic rats. METHODS Alloxan-diabetic rats were treated separately with insulin, vanadate (0.6 mg/ml), TSP and a combined dose of Vanadate (0.2 mg/ml) and TSP for 21 days. At the end of the experimental period, blood glucose levels and activities of pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured in cytosolic fraction in the liver and kidney. RESULTS Blood glucose levels increased markedly in diabetic rats. Treatment with antidiabetic compounds resulted in the reduction of glucose levels. Rats treated with combined dose of vanadate and trigonella had glucose levels comparable to control ones. Similar results were obtained with the activities of PK, PEPCK, SOD, GPx, GR, and CAT in liver and kidney of diabetic rats. Combined dose of vanadate and Trigonella was found to be most effective in correcting these alterations. CONCLUSIONS Lower doses of vanadate could be used in combination with TSP to effectively counter diabetic alterations without any toxic side effects.