Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) incorporates steatosis, non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH) and liver cirrhosis, associating with diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is protective of CVD. We aimed to determine whether TRAIL protects against insulin resistance, NAFLD and vascular injury. Twelve-week high fat diet (HFD)-fed Trail -/- mice had increased plasma cholesterol, insulin and glucose compared to wildtype. Insulin tolerance was impaired with TRAIL-deletion, with reduced p-Akt, GLUT4 expression and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Hepatic triglyceride content, inflammation and fibrosis were increased with TRAIL-deletion, with elevated expression of genes regulating lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis. Moreover, Trail -/- mice exhibited reduced aortic vasorelaxation, impaired insulin signaling, and >20-fold increased mRNA expression for IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. In vitro, palmitate treatment of hepatocytes increased lipid accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis, with TRAIL mRNA significantly reduced. TRAIL administration inhibited palmitate-induced hepatocyte lipid uptake. Finally, patients with NASH had significantly reduced plasma TRAIL compared to control, simple steatosis or obese individuals. These findings suggest that TRAIL protects against insulin resistance, NAFLD and vascular inflammation. Increasing TRAIL levels may be an attractive therapeutic strategy, to reduce features of diabetes, as well as liver and vascular injury, so commonly observed in individuals with NAFLD.