Alimentum vs Neocate Formula

Alimentum vs Neocate – Which Is Best For Your Baby [2022]

Alimentum vs Neocate are both specialty formulas used to accommodate different allergy levels.

They use different ingredients to accommodate certain needs and are often recommended in similar situations of varying degrees.

ManufacturerSimilac (Abbott Laboratories)Nutricia
FormsPowder; LiquidPowder; Liquid
Allergy SeverityMedium to ModerateSevere
Fat SourceVegetable OilsVegetable Oils
Carbohydrate SourceCorn MaltodextrinDried Glucose Syrup
Protein SourceCasein HydrolysateAmino Acids
Covered by Insurance?YesYes
Rating4.8 out of 54.7 out of 5
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Keep reading to learn about the different types of formulas and how they compare.

We will explain why the slight differences in ingredients make such a difference, as well as who is best suited for each type of formula.

Why Compare Alimentum vs Neocate?

Alimentum and Neocate are two popular options offered or recommended to parents whose children suffer from milk allergies.

While they may be suggested ‌simultaneously, identifying the differences between the two formulas can prevent time wasted on using the wrong formula.

While the application is the same, the formulas have a few distinct changes in their nutrition sources.

These directly affect the child consuming them, and if you can rule out a specific formula you have a greater chance of finding a suitable breast milk replacement in a timely manner.

This prevents the child from discomfort, and caregivers have greater opportunities to connect and look after their little one.

Note: Make sure to also read our recent guide on What is baby formula made of.

What is Alimentum?

Alimentum is produced by Similac and manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. They describe Alimentum as the first and only hypoallergenic formula with a base in extensively hydrolyzed casein.

Ideally, it reduced any excessive discomfort caused by the infant’s cow’s milk protein sensitivity in about 24 hours.

The formula uses a predigested protein to tackle allergic reactions that lead to discomfort and other issues.

Alimentum is lactose-free, but the casein hydrolysate milk replacement is derived from cow’s milk.

Because this protein has already passed through a hydrolysis process, the casein breaks down into small enough pieces that the body should not recognize the allergen.

What is Neocate?

Neocate is another hypoallergenic formula from Nutricia. The Neocate line comes in a variety of forms, such as ready-to-drink flavored formulas and pudding-style formulas for older children and even adults.

The major talking point behind Neocate is the basis in amino acids to combat Cow Milk Allergy. This works exceptionally well, and it takes the protein sourcing a step further than hydrolysis.

Neocate contains no milk and no ingredients derived from milk, so there are no chances of that specific allergen.

Alimentum and Neocate Similarities

Alimentum and Neocate are nutritionally complete, hypoallergenic formulas designed to provide relief to infants allergic to cow milk. 

You can purchase either formula over the counter, or your child’s doctor can write a prescription for potential insurance coverage.

Alimentum and Neocate come in powdered and liquid forms, providing more options and versatility in how you travel with the formula and how it is prepared.

Different Ingredients

Despite these similarities, the difference in ingredients creates a rift between the two formulas.

Alimentum may be lactose-free, but the casein hydrolysate used as a protein source still comes from cow’s milk.

In many cases, the thorough hydrolysis process breaks down the casein enough that the body does not recognize it and responds accordingly.

For some children, this is still too much for the body to handle.

Neocate takes everything a step further. Instead of allowing any trace of the allergen to remain. Instead, the formula includes absolutely no milk, sourcing protein from amino acids such as:

  • L-Leucine
  • L-Valine
  • L-Proline
  • L-Arginine
  • L-Aspartate
  • L-Glutamine

Because amino acids are so small, it is significantly easier for the baby to digest. The simpler process rewards the infant with less or even no discomfort, and parents benefit from a happier and more comfortable child.

Different Uses

The two formulas have the same basic use, but they apply to different situations.

Alimentum is used to eliminate mild responses to cow’s milk. This is one of the most popular formulas used in these situations, and it does not completely remove the allergen from the child’s diet.

Neocate is usually chosen for more serious cow’s milk allergy cases. A pediatrician may prescribe it right off the bat, or a child can find themself here after unsuccessful trials with other formulas.

Who Should Use Alimentum?

You should use Alimentum when your child has cow’s milk allergy that is not classified as severe. Alimentum takes all the steps necessary to ensure a simpler protein to digest.

It can ease discomfort from colic symptoms in under 24 hours to provide relief to babies and caretakers.

Alimentum is an appropriate choice for children with medium to moderate CMA.

Who Should Use Neocate?

Because Neocate takes the simplification process a step further, it is the better choice for severe cow’s milk allergy cases.

You should use Neocate if trials with other hypoallergenic formulas were unsuccessful or if there is little to no expectation of success.

Neocate is a top choice when a baby cannot consume milk in any form because of CMA.

Is Alimentum or Neocate Better?

While there are differences to note between Alimentum and Neocate, neither formula ranks above the other in terms of quality.

It comes down to which ingredients are most appropriate for consumption on an individual basis.

Alimentum is often recommended before Neocate to address concerns without simplifying nutrition sources as much.

This depends largely on how severe your child’s cow’s milk allergy is.

Neocate is a better choice for children that do not respond well to Alimentum or similar hypoallergenic formulas.

Final Thoughts

Finding a suitable breast milk replacement is not always as straightforward as we would like, and there are several specialized formulas to sift through.

Alimentum and Neocate offer a solution for those with cow’s milk allergy, but they have two different approaches that garner different results.

Take the time to work with your pediatrician or a registered dietician that specializes in pediatric food allergies.

They will evaluate the evidence to help you find a suitable source of nutrition for your child, moving beyond colic to happy cooing and relief.

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