Diabetes-induced CVD is the most significant complication of prolonged hyperglycaemia. The aim of this study was to determine whether resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant compound, when administered at a dose that can be reasonably obtained through supplementation could prevent the development of cardiovascular complications in older, obese, diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in 6-month old, obese, male Wistar rats via a single intravenous dose of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg). Randomly selected animals were administered resveratrol (2 mg/kg) via oral gavage daily for 8 weeks. Body weights, blood glucose levels, food intake and water consumption were monitored, and assessments of vascular reactivity, tactile allodynia and left ventricular function were performed. Resveratrol therapy significantly improved tactile allodynia and vascular contractile functionality in diabetic rats (P<0·05). There were no significant changes in standardised vasorelaxation responses, plasma glucose concentrations, water consumption, body weight, left ventricular hypertrophy, kidney hypertrophy, heart rate or left ventricular compliance with resveratrol administration. Resveratrol-mediated improvements in vascular and nerve function in old, obese, diabetic rats were associated with its reported antioxidant effects. Resveratrol did not improve cardiac function nor mitigate the classic clinical symptoms of diabetes mellitus (i.e. hyperglycaemia, polydypsia and a failure to thrive). This suggests that supplementation with resveratrol at a dose achievable with commercially available supplements would not produce significant cardioprotective effects in people with diabetes mellitus.