For parents of children with food allergies, especially colitis, and gastrointestinal disorders, the dilemma between Nutramigen and Alimentum can be a migraine. We often call such babies medically fragile.
Choosing either Nutramigen or Alimentum can be a minefield of confusion, especially when considering the claims made by their manufacturers. However, both of them are hypoallergenic formulas. Keep reading to learn more about these formulas and their benefits.
Hypoallergenic baby formulas are designed to help babies with food allergies and sensitivities. They are usually made from milk that has been extensively processed to remove all traces of the protein responsible for allergic reactions. They’re designed for babies who can’t tolerate regular milk-based formulas.
So basically, they contain less protein than regular formulas. They also don’t contain any common allergens that may cause reactions in some babies, including dairy products and eggs.
Basically, many parents choose hypoallergenic formulas because they’re concerned about their child developing an allergy at a later age. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there’s no crucial evidence that these formulas prevent allergies or asthma later in life. They may only be useful if a baby has already developed an allergy to cow’s milk or soy proteins.
Viable examples of hypoallergenic formulas are Nutramigen and Alimentum. Below we discuss them in detail.
What is Nutramigen?
Nutramigen is a hypoallergenic formula specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of babies with trouble tolerating milk protein. It is made from cow’s milk that has been broken down into its basic components — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
The proteins in the formula are broken into smaller pieces that are easier for your baby to digest. Similarly, the fats are broken down into smaller particles for easy digestion into your baby’s digestive system.
The carbohydrate content of Nutramigen formula has been reduced so that it does not cause gas or bloating in your baby’s stomach, making it viable for babies with gastro problems.
Who can use the Nutramigen Infant Formula?
Nutramigen Infant Formula is a complete nutritional product for infants with documented hypersensitivity to milk or a documented milk protein intolerance.
It is also indicated for infants at risk of developing cataracts or retinopathy of prematurity and should be used under medical supervision.
What are the benefits of the Nutramigen Infant Formula?
Nutramigen has lactose-free high-quality protein, making it easier to digest than other formulas. It contains lutein, an important nutrient in breast milk that helps support normal eye health in premature babies.
Similarly, Nutramigen provides added vitamins and minerals that help support normal growth and development. Below are other admirable benefits;
- Nutramigen helps reduce allergic reactions caused by cow’s milk protein
- It helps maintain your baby’s immune system during times of increased vulnerability (e.g., colds and flu)
- It helps provide adequate nutrition for babies with mild to moderate cow’s milk protein allergies.
- Contains DHA and ARA, which promote brain & eye development.
What is Alimentum?
Alimentum is a hypoallergenic, protein hydrolysate-based formula for infants with mild to moderate cow’s milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance. It is specially designed for babies sensitive to cow’s milk protein, who may also have some degree of lactose malabsorption (insensitivity).
It contains a blend of amino acids that closely resemble proteins found in human breast milk. The amino acids are highly digestible – even for babies with digestive problems. And a good thing, Alimentum has no added sugar or starch, making it suitable for infants with lactose intolerance.
What Are Benefits of Alimentum
As indicated above, Alimentum is a proprietary formula with the right amount of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to help meet the nutritional needs of infants with moderate allergic conditions. It has many benefits, as follows;
- It is lactose and gluten-free.
- It is hypoallergenic, which means it does not contain any proteins that may cause allergic reactions in children.
- It has a high content of essential fatty acids, which protect the brain development of infants and young children.
- Finally, it contains probiotics which help fight against infections and improve digestion in babies who suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, often due to food allergies or lactose intolerance.
How Nutramigen and Alimentum Compare
Nutramigen and Alimentum are two popular hypoallergenic formulas for babies with sensitive tummies. Both are cow’s milk protein-free; that is why they’re fed to babies with cow’s milk protein intolerance.
The formulas are typically similar in many ways: they have similar ingredients, prebiotics, and probiotics. Yet, they have some noticeable differences. Here is how the two formulas compare.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum: Ingredients
The main ingredient in Nutramigen is casein hydrolysate, a form of casein (a type of protein) that has been broken down into smaller pieces, so it doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction. Alimentum uses whey protein hydrolysate instead—another form of casein that has been broken down into smaller pieces.
Both formulas contain vitamins, minerals, fats, and carbohydrates. The only difference between the two formulas is their source of protein hydrolysates.
Nutramigen and Alimentum are hypoallergenic, which means they’re made from proteins that aren’t likely to cause an allergic reaction in infants.
However, it’s still possible for your child to react to switching to either formula, so you should always observe him closely while taking them. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction — such as hives or vomiting — call your doctor immediately.
Nutramigen and Alimentum provide complete nutrition for babies who can’t tolerate other types of formula. However, if your baby has a severe allergy to soy or dairy products, Nutramigen may not work for him since it contains both ingredients in its formula base.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum; Which Is Better?
You should talk to your doctor or dietician about these two types of hypoallergenic formulas before deciding which one may be best for your child. You should also consider how severe your child’s allergies are when making this decision.
When deciding which of these two formulas will work best for your baby, you must do your due diligence and research. You should not automatically assume that just because one costs more than the other; is better for your baby.
Ultimately, both of these formulas have their benefits and are generally safe for your baby’s consumption. Each has a different idea about what constitutes the ideal infant formula, so we recommend talking to your doctor before deciding whether to go with Nutramigen or Alimentum.