A randomized, double-blind study was conducted to determine the possible effects of aspartame on the plasma amino acid profiles of 23 diabetic patients with renal failure who were undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Subjects were given a single dose of 10 mg aspartame/kg (approximately equivalent to 25 packets of Equal [NutraSweet Consumer Products, Inc, Chicago, IL] or the amount of phenylalanine in a 300-mL glass of milk) or a placebo in a crossover study design. Three postdialysis blood samples were drawn just before and 1 and 2 h after aspartame or placebo consumption. After aspartame consumption statistically significant increases in only two amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine, were noted at 1 and 2 h when compared with placebo values. The increases in phenylalanine were within the normal postprandial range for healthy subjects; no other increases in essential or nonessential amino acids, except for tyrosine, were detected. This study supports the view that aspartame is safe for diabetic subjects with chronic renal failure.