Selecting the right infant formula can be a critical decision for parents, especially when faced with the challenge of addressing cow’s milk protein allergies. Nutramigen and Elecare have emerged as popular choices among parents seeking alternatives. In this article, we will conduct a concise comparison of Nutramigen and Elecare, focusing on four crucial aspects: mom’s reviews, ingredients, Nutrition, and price.
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The difference between these two formulas is that Elecare is an amino acid-based formula for babies with severe cow’s milk allergy, multiple food protein allergies, or babies who can’t tolerate hypoallergenic formulas. In contrast, Nutramigen is a hypoallergenic formula made from extensively hydrolyzed protein for babies with mild to moderate cow’s milk allergy or sensitivity.
Mom’s Reviews Comparison:
According to mom’s reviews, Nutramigen has received positive reviews for addressing common issues like gas, reflux, and fussiness. It has also been effective in relieving symptoms of colic and constipation. However, it’s important to note that a small number of babies who have difficulty tolerating hypoallergenic formulas may experience blood in their stools when using Nutramigen.
Additionally, some moms have reported instances of diaper rash during the initial days of using Nutramigen, but fortunately, this rash typically disappears within a few days.
When these babies who have blood in their stools have switched from Nutramigen to Elecare, the blood disappears but some of them have struggled with hard poops.
Furthermore, both formulas are expensive due to their manufacturing process and special ingredients but Elecare is more expensive than Nutramigen because it’s an amino acid-based formula.
Thus, in case your baby has a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, start always with Nutramigen.
The table below shows a full comparison between Nutramigen and Elecare in terms of ingredients:
The difference in protein source between Nutramigen and Elecare reflects varying levels of protein breakdown. Nutramigen contains partially broken-down proteins, while Elecare offers individual amino acids without the need for further digestion. This distinction can be important for infants with severe protein allergies who may require the most extensively broken-down protein sources found in elemental formulas like Elecare.
This makes Elecare an elemental formula, which is suitable for infants with severe allergies or intolerances to both cow’s milk protein and extensively hydrolyzed formulas.
Corn syrup solids are used in baby formulas due to their ability to provide a readily available source of energy. They are easily digestible and help meet the carbohydrate needs of growing infants. The use of corn syrup solids allows for a consistent and controlled carbohydrate content in formula products.
It’s important to note that corn syrup solids used in baby formulas are different from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or corn syrup commonly found in processed foods. Baby formula manufacturers carefully select and process corn syrup solids to ensure they are safe and suitable for infant consumption.
Nutramigen contains a blend of vegetable oils as its fat source. These oils typically include options like palm oil, soybean oil, and coconut oil. The specific combination may vary depending on the product variation. Vegetable oils provide essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are important for infant development and growth.
Elecare, on the other hand, uses a specialized fat blend that includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and high oleic sunflower oil. MCTs are easily digested and rapidly absorbed by the body, making them beneficial for infants with certain gastrointestinal conditions. High oleic sunflower oil is a source of monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy.
Both Nutramigen and Elecare are fortified with essential fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). These fatty acids are important for the healthy development of infants, particularly for their cognitive and visual functions.
The difference in fat sources between Nutramigen and Elecare lies in the specific combination and types of oils used in their formulations. Nutramigen relies on a blend of vegetable oils, while Elecare incorporates MCTs and high oleic sunflower oil.
Nutramigen has a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus known for its ability to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which can play a crucial role in overall digestive well-being. By introducing beneficial bacteria into the gut, probiotics may help support digestion and alleviate symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Elecare, on the other hand, doesn’t have a probiotic.
When comparing Nutramigen and Elecare in terms of nutrients and vitamins, both formulas are designed to provide complete nutrition for infants. However, there are some differences to consider.
Elecare is fortified with protein and carbs level more than Nutramigen while this last has more fat than Elecare.
In terms of vitamins, Nutramigen is enriched with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic acid, Choline, and Inositol, whereas Elecare has high levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Folic acid, and Biotin.
Inositol is a naturally occurring substance that plays a vital role in various cellular processes in the body, including brain development, cell signaling, and insulin regulation. It is often included as an ingredient in infant formulas, including Nutramigen and Elecare, due to its potential benefits for infant health and development.
We noticed that Elecare has been enriched with mineral levels than Nutramigen like Calcium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Copper, and Potassium. Furthermore, it has two minerals that are missing in Nutramigen which are Chromium and Molybdenum.
“Chromium is essential for maintaining normal glucose metabolism,” says pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
“Molybdenum works in the body to break down proteins and other substances,” says WebMD
Price and Size Comparison:
Both Elecare and Nutramigen are considered expensive due to their specialized formulation and special ingredients. However, if we do a comparison between them we found that Nutramigen is cheaper than Elecare.
32 fl oz
37.9 ¢/fl oz
Switching From Nutramigen to EleCare:
Yes, It is safe to switch from Nutramigen to Elecare if your baby is experiencing negative reactions to Nutramigen, such as blood in stools or eczema… Switching to an amino acid-based formula like Elecare may be necessary in such cases. However, it’s important to note that some babies may find the taste and smell of the new amino acid formula unpleasant.
To help ease the transition, pediatricians often recommend a gradual switch from Nutramigen to Elecare. For instance, you can start by mixing 1 ounce of Elecare with 5 ounces of Nutramigen in a 6-ounce bottle. The following day, you can try a mixture of 2 ounces of Elecare and 4 ounces of Nutramigen, and so on. This gradual approach allows your baby to become accustomed to the taste and smell of Elecare while still receiving some familiar Nutramigen.
By transitioning gradually, you can help ensure a smoother adjustment for your baby as they adapt to the new formula. It’s always best to consult with your pediatrician for personalized guidance on switching formulas and to address any concerns you may have along the way.
Note: Before switching to an amino acid formula due to allergic reactions, try other hypoallergenic formulas like Alimentum, and Gerber Extensive HA if they can help because amino acid formulas are super expensive.
The Best One?
Determining the “best” formula between Nutramigen and Elecare depends on the specific needs and circumstances of your baby. Both formulas have their own unique characteristics and are designed to address different situations.
Nutramigen is a hypoallergenic formula suitable for infants with cow’s milk protein allergies or sensitivities. It contains extensively hydrolyzed cow’s milk protein and aims to provide relief from symptoms such as gas, reflux, and fussiness. Nutramigen is often recommended as a first step for infants with mild to moderate allergies.
Elecare, on the other hand, is an elemental formula intended for infants with severe allergies or intolerances. It utilizes amino acids as the protein source, making it the most extensively broken-down formula available. Elecare is typically recommended when babies have shown strong reactions to other formulas or require a strictly allergen-free diet.