no the damage taken thing is removed now so you no longer end up taking more dmg when using alchemy. Equivalence has high damage reduction but you have to maintain full HP and MP constantly along with other variables to really make use of it and have great damage reduction. Alchemy is this but on a lower extent in difficulty. Well equivalence also halves MP and HP too after equalising them and alchemy works well when you have an almost equal and high enough MP and HP.
Ahh yes, to hide the item that was crafted so it is a secret #noonecanknow ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)