The rapid increase of obesity-associated diabetes has created urgent demands for more effective antidiabetic therapies and pharmaceuticals that are able to address the problems of hyperglycemia and weight gain simultaneously. Our previous studies indicated that the alpha- and beta-anomers of penta-O-galloyl-D-glucopyranose (PGG), 2 and 3, act as insulin mimetics that bind to and activate the insulin receptor, stimulate glucose transport in adipocytes, and reduce blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetic and obese animals. In addition, they inhibit differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes. These activities suggest that 2 and 3 may reduce blood glucose without increasing adiposity. To investigate the structure-activity relationship of 2 and 3, four series of novel compounds were prepared and their glucose transport stimulatory activities were measured using a radioactive glucose uptake bioassay. The assay results indicate that both the glucose and the galloyl groups are critical to the activity of 2 and 3. It appears that the glucose core provides an optimal scaffold to present the galloyl groups with the correct spatial orientation to induce activity. Moreover, the galloyl groups linked to the 1, 2, 3, and 4 positions of glucose are essential, while the galloyl group connected to the 6 position of 2 is unnecessary for the induction of activity. The discovery that two related novel compounds, 6-deoxytetra-O-galloyl-alpha-D-glucopyranose (43) and tetra-O-galloyl-alpha-D-xylopyranose (59), also possess glucose transport stimulatory activity suggests that 2 may be further modified around position 6 to modulate and enhance its efficacy. To test this hypothesis, we developed a new synthetic method that allows for the stereoselective preparation of derivatives of 2 that are modified on C-6. We found that 6-chloro-6-deoxy-1,2,3,4-tetra-O-galloyl-alpha-D-glucopyranose (80) exhibits a significantly higher glucose transport stimulatory activity than 2. Its activity is comparable to that of insulin.