We investigated the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (AL) and alpha-tocopherol (AT) on renal histopathology in a streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rat model. Adult male rats were divided into six groups: group 1, saline only; group 2, AL only; group 3, AT only; group 4, STZ only; group 5, STZ + AL; group 6 STZ + AT. Experimental diabetes was induced by STZ. AL and AT were administered for 15 days. Kidney sections were examined using a light microscope after hematoxylin and eosin (H & E), periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and caspase-3 staining. Histological damage to glomeruli, tubule epithelial cells and basement membrane was observed in group 4. Administration of AT and AL reduced renal injury in the diabetic rats. Group 5 exhibited a greater curative effect on diabetic rats than group 6. AT and AL may be useful for preventing diabetic renal damage.