DNA kits allow you to test for a variety of different medical conditions, as well as trace your ancestry. DNA kits can show you how likely you are to develop type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Celiac disease.
They can also tell you the likelihood of having certain traits, such as eye color, early hair loss, and cheek dimples.
Best DNA Kits
1. 23andMe Health + Ancestry
Though it was one of the first DNA testing kits available on the market, 23andME has still managed to stay competitive with other products on the market. The health and ancestry kit provides information on your genetic background and helps to identify what disease you may be susceptible to.
23andME’s DNA kit is also one of the most secure in terms of privacy. All information is data encrypted and stored in a private location to ensure you can access it at-will while also maintaining your confidentiality. For these reasons, it’s our #1 pick.
2. Silverberry DNA Kit
Silveryberry’s DNA kit is designed to give you additional information about possible nutritional deficiencies you may experience while also providing you with a comprehensive overview of behavioral and personality traits that you may exhibit due to your history.
Though there have been some concerns related to the validity of these findings, it may help to provide clarity for some. You’ll receive results in 4 weeks which will enable you to begin analyzing and working on any specific concerns you may come across as a result of the testing.
3. Vitagene Unique Like You
Unlike many other DNA testing kits, Vitagene focuses on overall well-being rather than specific health issues that could arise in the future. Users will be able to review their global ancestry and receive a subsequent report on potential nutritional concerns.
Based on your genetic makeup, Vitagene will recommend vitamins, supplements, and exercises designed to combat potential problems likely to occur. Users will generally receive their results in 4 to 6 weeks compared to others that mandate a possible turnaround of 8 weeks.
4. Fit iQ DNA Test
Fit IQ’s DNA testing kit is designed to map out an optimum fitness and diet routine based on your genetic information. Though this is highly specialized, it would prove to be ideal for athletes or those who focus on fitness regularly.
Based on the genetic data received, Fit IQ can determine the likelihood of sugar cravings, your possibility of being overweight, weight loss plans that will benefit you specifically based on your genes, and exercise routines that have the best chance of success.
AncestryDNA is specifically designed to provide you with an ethnicity breakdown rather than potential medical issues. They do this using their database of over 350 regions in the world.
Users will have to wait 8 weeks for this information, but it is well worth it if you’re curious about where your ancestors came from and don’t mind researching more of the health-related information yourself.
MyHeritage’s DNA kit will provide you with a breakdown of your ancestry from 70 regions worldwide. This kit also has a high accuracy rate-making its slightly smaller amount of data worth it overall.
Similar to AncestryDNA, you’ll need to do some additional research if you would like to know more regarding the possibility of disease or health concerns if you go this route.
7. Color Genetic Risk Test
Though they are smaller than other DNA testing companies, Color Genetic Risk has still been able to provide a reliable testing kit that analyzes over 60 genes.
This kit also provides more of a medical genetic history which helps to determine your risk for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
This DNA kit focuses on your overall health and provides you information regarding your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.
You’ll also learn whether or not you happen to be a “carrier” of multiple genetic mutations which adds a unique component to this kit.
9. Geno 2.0 Next Generation
Manufactured and produced by National Geographic, the Geno 2.0 DNA testing kit comes with a substantial reputation. If you’re interested in your genetic heritage, this kit will trace your genome back up to half a million years.
This makes for interesting reading and has also been proven to be extremely accurate. Though it does miss out on providing some of the health information, this is still a viable option for those looking into their genetic history.
10. Family Tree DNA
While Family Tree DNA may not provide some of the health and medical information users may seek, it still manages to be a standard DNA kit that can get the job done.
You’ll be provided with ancestral information and obtain data about your origins. As with other ancestral kits, you’ll need to do some additional research for a full picture of your history.
How We Rank
To establish a baseline for our rankings, we eliminated companies that had a history of inaccurate information. One of the most important elements associated with any DNA testing kit is the ability to trust the information being provided. Companies that had multiple reports of inaccurate readings were removed entirely. This is a primary reason that ORIG3N did not make our list.
Companies that ranked highest on our list were those who had established reputations and provided the best possible results according to users and research data. 23andMe has a long-standing history of quality data which placed them in our top spot.
Next, we then focused on the main reason most people choose to use a DNA testing kit. Gaining information related to your genetic history can provide information with a profound effect on your health and well-being. For our purposes, we chose to highlight products that provided a broad range of information. Companies such as SilverBerry DNA and Vitagene were highly ranked due to their expansive database of information. Though providing fewer data did not fully disqualify companies from making our rankings, we viewed more data as an added bonus and rewarded companies accordingly.
1. DNA kits test for the likelihood of developing diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a common health condition where the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. This can lead to a wide range of health problems, from obesity and heart disease to issues with vision (1).
DNA kits can show you how likely you are to develop type 2 diabetes. They do this by checking your DNA for a number of genes that are commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have these genes, you may have a higher likelihood of developing the condition (2).
It should be noted that DNA kits are not a diagnostic tool. They tell you the chance that you could develop a type 2 diabetes, but will not tell you for certain that you will develop the condition.
However, this information can then be used to help guide lifestyle choices. If you learn that you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, you can take preventative measures, such as changing your diet or exercising more.
2. DNA kits can see if you’re a carrier for certain diseases. There are certain medical conditions that you can carry a gene for without having the condition. However, this makes it more likely that your children will have the condition.
DNA kits can tell if you are a carrier for a number of different medical conditions. For example, genetic testing can show you that you are a carrier for cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes chronic lung infections (3).
If you’re a carrier for a disease, that means that your children will be more likely to develop the condition. If both parents are carriers for a disease, that means that there is a 25% chance that their children will have the condition.
Although many people would prefer not to have this information, some like to know. It can help guide lifestyle choices and prepare families for health problems that they may have to deal with in the future. It can also help them get the proper insurance or medical care in advance.
3. DNA kits can find out the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, causing severe memory loss, confusion, and cognitive problems (4).
DNA kits allow you to see the likelihood of developing certain types of the disease, including late-onset Alzheimer’s. These genetic tests should not be used as a replacement for a physician’s assessment. They cannot tell you if you have the disease, but only give you a rough estimate of the likelihood that you will develop it.
However, this information can be useful for guiding lifestyle choices and helping people make preventative steps to reduce their chances of developing the disease.
4. DNA kits can test for certain traits. DNA kits also allow you to test for certain traits, such as eye color, cheek dimples, early hair loss, and earlobe type. These traits are associated with specific genes, and DNA testing can show you if they run in your family. They can also give an estimate of how likely it is that your children will have these traits.
5. DNA kits can see your genetic weight predisposition. Weight is influenced by a lot more than just genetics. However, genes are still quite important in determining how much people weigh. DNA kits can be used to show if you are predisposed to certain conditions that may affect your weight.
By testing for your genetic weight predisposition, you can make lifestyle changes that can better help you manage weight.
6. DNA kits find out what type of food you prefer. There are many genes that affect taste and food preferences. For example, some people have genes that make them more responsive to salty foods, while others naturally prefer sweeter foods. DNA kits can test for these genes and see what kinds of foods you are naturally more inclined to. If you’ve always had a sweet tooth, genetic tests can explain why (5).
They can also help you make lifestyle changes based on your weak spots. If you eat too many sweets, it could be partially due to genetic factors, so it might be best not to keep too many of them around the house.
7. DNA kits can test for lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a common condition that affects billions of people. In fact, nearly 65% of all people may have some form of lactose intolerance (6).
With lactose intolerance, your body cannot properly break down lactose, the sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products. This can lead to bloating and other digestive problems.
DNA kits can test for the genes that are commonly associated with lactose intolerance. Many people continue to eat dairy, not realizing that their body cannot fully process it. Genetic testing can show you that you are lactose intolerant, and help you make lifestyle changes to improve digestive health.
8. DNA kits can help you learn if you are tolerant to caffeine. Many people notice that they respond quite strongly to caffeine. That’s because certain people have genes that make them much more sensitive to caffeine (7).
DNA kits can show you if you have the genes that make you significantly more responsive to caffeine. If you’ve always wondered why you get anxious after just a small cup of coffee, genetic testing can show you the reason.
9. DNA kits don’t require insurance or healthcare provider approval needed. Many traditional genetic testing services must first be approved by insurance companies or requested by a doctor. If they are not, the out of pocket cost can be quite high.
DNA kits are affordable, usually costing around $100-200. They do not require insurance approval, nor do you need authorization from a doctor to have the testing done. This makes them the easiest and most affordable way of getting genetic testing done.
They are also quicker than some other forms of genetic testing. With DNA kits, you’ll be able to get results back in a few weeks.
10. DNA Kits are cheaper than traditional genetic testing. There are many companies that offer genetic testing for a wide variety of medical conditions. However, this testing can be quite expensive and may be limited to a few conditions. In many cases, it can cost over $1000 just to test for a single condition.
DNA kits are a bit less accurate than these tests. However, they are much broader ranging than many tests done by healthcare providers and are significantly less expensive. Most DNA kits will cost just $100-200, and cover dozens of different medical conditions, as well as providing information on ancestry.
11. DNA kits find the region where your family comes from. Many DNA kits also offer geographical ancestry testing, where they use your DNA to trace your family history to a specific region.
These tests will also break down ancestry by percentage, showing how many of your ancestors came from particular regions. These DNA kits are more accurate and complete when multiple family members provide samples. Some services allow you to build family trees based on the data that your relatives provide.
12. DNA kits learn how much Neanderthal DNA you have. Neanderthals were a species closely related to humans, and we share many of their genes. However, people vary widely in how much Neanderthal DNA they have in their genes (8).
DNA kits can allow you to test for the percentage of your DNA that comes from Neanderthals. Although this has little health benefit, you can learn how closely related you are to the species that most closely resembles humans.
There are no health side effects from using DNA kits. The process is simple and only involves a small saliva sample. However, there are risks associated with the use of DNA kits that you should be aware of before using them.
1. Insurance can be affected by the results of DNA kits. That’s because they can show the likelihood of you developing certain diseases. Life insurance companies may increase rates or deny coverage due to results from a DNA kit test.
If you are planning on buying insurance, you should be careful about what types of health tests you get with your DNA kit. When you submit your health report to insurance companies, they expect you to include any genetic information. If you have used a DNA kit and hide the results from an insurance company, they will consider this an intentional omission of key health information, which can lead to denial of coverage.
2. There are concerns when using DNA kits. The companies that provide genetic testing through DNA kits are largely unregulated, with little oversight of how they use your data. That means that they can use your information at their own discretion. This may include selling data to drug companies, as well as sharing information with researchers. Although this is unlikely to hurt users, you should be aware of how your information could be used before you agree to submit your sample.
Most DNA kits work in a similar way. The company will send you a collection kit, which is usually just a tube with a barcode on it. You register this barcode so that they know whom the sample belongs to. Then, you give a sample of your saliva and send it to the company.
Once your sample is received, the company will run the tests that you were included with the kit you bought. They do this by extracting your DNA from the saliva and processing it. In most cases, you should get your results back in around 3-5 weeks.
Most companies will send you a report that details the findings from the genetic testing. This report may include disease predispositions, carrier status for inherited diseases, and the likelihood of having certain traits.
The report may also include information on your ancestry, with maps showing the regions where your family originated from. Many services break down heritage by percentage, determining how much of your genes come from specific regions.
Can DNA kits be used as a diagnostic tool? Although some forms of DNA testing are used to diagnose certain diseases, DNA kits should not be used as a diagnostic tool.
These tests cannot show with certainty that you will develop a disease. Rather, they are useful for showing the likelihood of developing diseases. They are also not a replacement for more accurate genetic testing that your physician might use to diagnose specific diseases.
Will DNA kits affect your insurance? If you plan on buying certain kinds of insurance, you should be careful when taking a DNA test.
If a DNA kit shows that you have an increased chance of developing a disease, it can lead to an increase in insurance premiums. It may also affect your ability to get life insurance, as well as disability and long-term care insurance.
Those considering buying insurance soon should purchase their plan before they use a DNA kit, as the results can affect premiums or even lead to a denial of coverage.
How is your information from a DNA kit used? Many companies that sell DNA kits will use your information for their own purposes. This often includes sharing data for research studies, as well as providing information to drug companies.
Before you buy a DNA kit, you should review their policy on user information. These policies vary widely between companies, so you should know how your information will be used before you submit your DNA kit.
How long will it take to get your DNA kit results? Processing time will vary depending on the company. However, you’ll get results from most DNA kits in around 3-5 weeks.
How much do DNA kits cost? There are many different companies that offer DNA kit services. These kits also vary depending on what type of testing you want, such as ancestry testing or medical reports. That said, most DNA kits will cost between $100-200.
Many services will also offer special deals throughout the year, so you can often find DNA kits for under $100.
Which DNA kit is best? There’s a wide variety of genetic testing companies, from 23andMe to AncestryDNA. The services offered by each company may vary slightly, but they are largely the same for most users.
The best service will usually be the one that already has the most data on your family. DNA testing is more accurate when more close relatives have also submitted samples. If you know family members who have used a particular service, it’s best to use this same service, as you will be able to learn even more about your ancestry and medical predispositions.
Can you access your raw DNA data? In most cases, yes. Many companies will allow you to download the raw data that is used to create your report. You can use this data for other third-party services, or give it to your healthcare provider.
Are DNA kits accurate when testing for ancestry? The results of ancestral DNA tests are 99.9% accurate. A test may suggest that you have some American Indian ancestry, but you won’t know whether it comes from your mother’s side or your father’s side unless both of your parents get tested as well.
Can DNA tests from DNA kits be wrong? It is often not, but it can provide a false positive on rare occasions.
Can you cheat a DNA kit test? Yes, it is possible to swap the DNA samples in a DNA kit to cheat the test.
Can you brush your teeth before a DNA kit test? No, don’t eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, chew gum, or tobacco for 30 minutes after brushing your teeth and before providing your saliva sample.
How far back does DNA testing go? Matching on the Mitochondrial DNA Full Genomic Sequence test brings your matches into times that are more recent. It means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last 5 generations. That is about 125 years.
Do you inherit more DNA from mother or father? Since the chromosomes mothers and fathers pass on to their children are reshuffled versions of the ones they inherited from their own parents, it is hard to use most chromosomes to trace genealogy back very far. Most of the Y chromosome, however, is handed down from father to son without changes.
Can siblings have different ancestry DNA results in a DNA kit test? Because of recombination, siblings, on average, share about 50 percent of the same DNA. So while biological siblings have the same family tree, their genetic code might be different in at least one of the areas looked at in a given test.
Who has the largest DNA kit test database? AncestryDNA has the largest database to compare your results to when making matches, with 23andMe coming in second and FTDNA in fourth. MyHeritage DNA, although newer than the others, is catching up fast and numbers now surpass FTDNA.
What types of DNA tests are there? Generally, there are three different test types: Autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA. The Y-DNA test can only be administered to men, and traces DNA back through the patrilineal ancestry (basically from father to grandfather to great grandfather).
The mtDNA is matrilineal and lets you trace your ancestry back through your mother, her mother, and her mother going back. Autosomal tests can get you quality genetic information going back about four or five generations. Which test you take depends entirely on what you’re looking for. Don’t expect perfect accuracy. They can give you indications, but taking a DNA test won’t magically produce a history book of your family’s background.
Can a company guarantee results from a DNA kit test? No, unfortunately, no DNA testing company will be able to guarantee that they will be able to locate family members or ancestral information. If you have concerns in this area, it is best to choose a kit that uses a larger database to obtain data.
Are DNA kits affordable? DNA kits are also quite affordable, costing significantly less than many other genetic testing services.
Can DNA kits trace your ancestry? Yes, DNA kits can be used to trace your ancestry back to specific regions. Certain services also allow you to connect with relatives who have used the same DNA kit and fill out a family tree with the results of the testing.
Are DNA kits safe? Although DNA kits are completely safe, there are some risks that you should be aware of before using them. Companies reserve the right to use your information as they please, including selling it to pharmaceutical companies. The results from DNA kits can also affect your ability to get life insurance if they show that you have a higher likelihood of developing certain diseases.
DNA kits are a low cost and safe way of learning more about your ancestry, and can also tell you the likelihood of developing specific medical conditions. With a DNA kit, you can see the likelihood of developing a wide variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Celiac disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
DNA kits also allow you to trace your ancestry and see which regions your family comes from. Additionally, you can test for a range of different traits, as well as carrier status for medical conditions such as Celiac disease and sickle cell anemia.
Although DNA kids have no health side effects, they do come with risks. The companies that offer DNA kits own the information provided by your DNA sample and can use it largely as they please. Genetic testing can also affect your status for certain types of insurance, including life insurance.
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