Similac Ketonex vs Enfamil BCAD: Which One Should Your Baby Have?

similac ketonex vs enfamil bcad

Choosing between Similac Ketonex vs. Enfamil BCAD can be hard since their formulations are quite close. This guide can help you select one for your baby. 

I was fortunate enough where I did not need one of these specialty baby formulas, but Enfamil and SImilac have some amazing products out there to help those with medical needs.

Similac Ketonex and Enfamil BCAD are medical powder formulas that are specially designed to help people with MSUD. That stands for Maple Syrup Urine Disease, and is rare but with a good medical strategy you can provide your baby with the nutrients he or she can absorb with the special formula.

Each formula has distinct nutritional values. Can’t decide which one your baby should have? Read below to find out.

Enfamil BCAD and Similac Ketonex are both unique in their formulations. However, both are pediatrician approved for the consumption of babies with MSUD.

Their taste and nutritional values vary slightly. You can check out their samples to know which one would suit your baby better. Do not be afraid to try for 2 – 3 weeks and then give the other formula a whirl if you are not satisfied with the results.

This article discusses everything you should know about Ketonex and BCAD.

Table of Contents

What Makes Each Brand Safe?

The Ketonex and BCAD are infant formulas for babies under 12 months old with MSUD. MSUD is a genetic disorder that prevents the body from digesting branched-chain amino acids which are found in most proteins such as meat, fish, lentils, and milk. As a result, babies with MSUD are not able to digest regular breast milk

The Ketonex and BCAD are suitable for kids with MSUD because these use amino acid-free protein bonds that provide the necessary nutrition to your baby. These do not contain the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. 

In addition to being free of the branched-chain amino acids, the BCAD is also fortified with iron, DHA, and Choline. It contains all the other necessary amino acids and promises to fulfill your baby’s nutritional needs. 

It may seem hard to choose between Similac Ketonex Vs. Enfamil BCAD. It is safe to use either formula, but you should consult a pediatrician first.

Nutritional Values

  • Ketonex 1

The Ketonex contains 15 gm protein, 21. 7 gm fat, 53 gm carbohydrate, 3650 mg Linoleic acid, 360 mg Linolenic acid, and 480 calories per 100 gm serving.

Find more detailed info, go here. 

  • BCAD 1

The BCAD 1 contains 500 kcal energy, 16.2 gm protein, 51 gm of carbohydrate, 26 gm of fats, Amino acid premix, and Corn syrup per 100 gm. 

Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper are some of the added minerals. You can find a detailed list of ingredients and nutritional value, see here

Similac Ketonex- Which One is Better?

The Ketonex 1 and 2 are both safe for people with MSUD. The only difference is that 1 is designed for infants and 2 is designed for adults and children specifically. 

  • Ketonex-1

Ketonex 1 is made for infants and toddlers with MSUD or beta ketothiolase deficiency. The formula is free of branched-chain amino acids but contains L-carnitine and taurine to supply the other essential proteins in their intact form.

The consumption of Ketonex 1 by the directions given by the Abbott Nutrition Support Protocol can help your baby get all the necessary nutrients. Ketonex 1 contains DHA and ARA to support the healthy development of the brain and eyes. This formula supplies 40% of total energy available as fats and 6.6% as Linoleic acid.

Ketonex 1 is non-GMO, lactose-free, gluten-free, and halal.

  • Ketonex-2

The Ketonex 2 is modified, especially for children and adults. It contains the necessary nutrition supplements that adults with MSUD require. The exclusion of branched-chain amino acids enables you to consume more essential proteins with the Ketonex 2.

Ketonex 2 contains calories in the form of fats that help you consume essential fatty acids. It contains good amounts of L- carnitine and taurine to help you consume proteins found in animal origins.

Enfamil BCAD- Which One is Better?

  • BCAD-1

The importance of the BCAD for infants and toddlers with MSUD is not negligible either. It contains fortified iron, DHA, and ARA for proper brain and eye development in your baby. 

The BCAD formula does not contain the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Instead, it provides the other essential amino acids that are required by infants.

The Choline in BCAD aids the development of cells and the brain. There are high amounts of vitamin B to promote the development of cofactors. The other vitamin and mineral levels per 100 calories in the BCAD fulfill the requirements of the U.S. Infant Formula Act. 

Additionally, the BCAD 1 comes in vanilla flavor, does not separate after mixing, and is halal.

  • BCAD-2

The BCAD 2 comes in useful for adults and children with dietary restrictions against branched-chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, valine, and MSUD. 

The BCAD 2 contains 24gm of protein per 100 gm of powder. It is an excellent source of protein and minerals for people with MSUD. 

People with lactose intolerance can also consume BCAD 2. It comes in vanilla flavor and does not separate after mixing. You can even add flavorings of your choice. 

What Does Each Formula Work For?

Similac Ketonex vs. Enfamil BCAD is a hard choice since both are suitable for people with MSUD disorder. Both the formulas promise to be a great source of nutrients for MSUD patients. These small differences between them are discussed below.

  • Similac Ketonex

The Similac Ketonex works well for people with MSUD who have trouble digesting branched-chain amino acids. People with MSUD cannot digest certain amino acids. 

Consuming the branched chain amino-acids causes the accumulation of toxic substances in their blood and urine. This condition prevents patients from consuming proteins normally and as a result, their growth and development are hampered. 

Ketonex is a medical food powder that promises to provide the essential nutrients and amino acids to people with MSUD without jeopardizing their health. 

  • Enfamil BCAD

The Enfamil BCAD is suitable for people with MSUD who can’t break down the broken chain of amino acids through digestion. The BCAD contains DHA, ARA, Choline, vitamins, and fortified iron. It works well for infants, children and adults.

Enfamil BCAD does not produce toxic substances in the blood and urine of patients. It is a good source of essential and non-essential amino acids. It  supplies all the necessary nutrients babies need for proper development.

Preparation Method for Each Formula

Formulas should be prepared properly following the pediatrician’s directions. You should follow these basic rules first.

  • Clean your hands properly before starting to prepare formulas
  • Use clean utensils. Ask your doctor if the bottle, cap, nipple, and ring need to be boiled every time before using
  • Don’t use hot water to prepare formulas. Avoid using extreme hot or extremely cold temperatures 
  • The formula should be at a neutral temperature while feeding
  • Use powder in prescribed amounts. Using too much can result in digestion problems
  • Make sure to finish the can within a month after opening. Store it according to the given directions to prevent spoiling 
  • Ask your pediatrician if you should use boiled water while making formulas. If you are using a blender for mixing, then don’t mix for longer than 5 seconds 

Any Disadvantages / Cons For These Formulas?

  • Similac Ketonex

The Ketonex has recently been pulled from shelves due to bacterial infections found in babies. In fact, the formulas produced at the Abbott Nutrition facility were all recalled. If you are using any products coming from the brands whose products have been recalled, then check the product code number to know if it’s part of the lots that are being called back.

The Ketonex is flavorless and can be a little hard to feed young babies who don’t like the taste.

The Ketonex does not include fortified iron or vitamin B4 that Enfamil BCAD does.

  • Enfamil BCAD

The Enfamil BCAD is safe to feed your babies according to professional directions. The formula contains added nutrients that help MSUD patients get the necessary nutrition. It also contains corn syrup and sugar. Refer to the product packaging for updated information on ingredients.

You should be careful about ordering online since shipping can cause damage to the cans. Some counterfeit items have also been found on online shopping portals. Do not use spoiled or open products.

Final Verdict

The Similac Ketonex and the Enfamil BCAD are both good formulas for people with MSUD disorder. You can rely on these to get a proper supply of necessary nutrients and proteins. Check with your pediatriaion as there may be some free samples available for such a niche product.

For babies, these are reliable sources of protein and can be used as a substitute for breast milk. Make sure to follow your pediatrician’s advice for proper dosage. 


Should I Microwave Powder Formula?

You should never microwave or heat prepared formulas. This is strictly prohibited by pediatricians and manufacturers alike. Always use formula at room temperature and don’t use hot water while preparing.

Is Using More Formula Healthier?

No, you should not use more than the prescribed amounts of formula. Using More powder can cause digestion problems in an MSUD patient. Ask your doctor how much powder you should use per serving.

Can I Feed the Formula to Premature Babies?

No, the formula should not be fed to premature babies because they are not sterile. It can seriously harm their health and can potentially risk their lives.

Thanks again for reading,