What Are People Hoping to Find Out?
If you know many people in your family who have suffered from heart disease or perhaps certain forms of cancer, you may want to understand if you or your children are at high risk. For example, if some of the women in your family had breast or ovarian cancer – it’s now known that the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene can often be responsible (accounting for up to 10% of breast cancers and 15% of ovarian cancers). With advanced DNA health testing, you can now find out if these genes were something you inherited.
It may be that you’re a carrier of a faulty gene and even though you won’t express a certain disease in your lifetime, it is something you can pass on. This information is particularly useful if you haven’t had children; you may consider having IVF so that only healthy embryos without the faulty genes are chosen, meaning you won’t pass them onto your offspring – it’s truly amazing where science and information can take you.
On top of that, you can find out how your genome can change your response to certain medications and vitamins through medical DNA testing. You can even learn how best to train and tweak your diet. Equipped with this knowledge you can make more informed decisions on what you eat, how you train and the medications that you take.
What Diseases Can Be Tested For?
Diseases and health insights that medical DNA health testing can show include:
- Lactose intolerance
- Cystic fibrosis
- Heart disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- And many, many more (this ultimately depends on the company you use, so be sure to check their site for the full list that they test for)
Step-by-step; How to Complete a DNA Test
First things first, you need to take the test, it’s much easier and less painful than you think – not a needle in sight!
- Order your DNA testing for health risks kit online
- Once it’s been delivered simply follow the instructions to collect a sample of your saliva.
- Register and post back the sample – and hey presto!
- Now you wait patiently for the results from the DNA testing lab (3-8 weeks on average)
How Accurate Are These Tests?
The accuracy of the tests first and foremost depends on the company that you use to conduct them with – 23andMe for example, recently gained FDA approval making them one notch more accurate than the rest particularly when it comes to testing for the BRCA gene mutation.
One should know that DNA testing kits are not 100% accurate and can heavily suggest but not confirm if you have a certain gene mutation. If for example, you think you’re at high risk of something serious such as certain diseases that are prevalent in your family, you should definitely have a backup blood test from a doctor to gain further insights. (There’s no harm in a double check.)
Best DNA Test for Health
We evaluated a wide range of DNA testing for health risks kits to find you the best DNA test for health reasons. We considered a wide range of factors, including the number of diseases they check for, other health tests included, as well as how long the DNA testing kits took to arrive, be processed and ultimately get the results back to you.
Vitagene focuses on providing personalized supplements or what they like to call ‘smart supplements,’ created based on the DNA of their patients. Vitagene considers the individuals’ nutrigenetics, exercise, disease, and pharmaceutical genetics. It isn’t suited to those looking for specific diseases they may have a predisposition to, but it does give an extensive DNA test with a health report.
- Very reasonably priced
- Simple at-home testing procedure
- Many professionals available for advice post results
- Gives a general overview but doesn’t go too deep
- Lacks genetic results for several diseases
- $49 for the Health DNA analysis report
- $79 for the Health+Ancestry DNA analysis report
For more information on Vitagene features, read our extensive Vitagene review.
23andMe offers a massive amount of information regarding your personal genetic health risks as well as giving insights into whether you are a carrier for certain medical conditions. We particularly admire this brand for being the very first and only consumer genetic test that’s been granted FDA approval. It’s the only brand that is FDA approved when it comes to accurate information on the genetic cancer risk test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 with no prescription necessary – making 23andMe the leading consumer genetics company on the market.
- FDA approved
- In-depth DNA test with health report. It includes: carrier status, wellness, genetic variants and health risks
- A wealth of optional DNA-based health tests for a large variety of diseases
- Be sure to consult with a genetic doctor and consultant to help interpret these results as some can distressing and the company do not provide in-depth information on what these results mean
- Extraction process involves gathering quite a hefty amount of spit – harder than it sounds, though definitely worth it.
- $199 for the Health+Ancestry DNA analysis report (including BRCA1/BRCA2 analysis)
For more information on 23andMe features, read our extensive 23andMe review.
HomeDNA offers a lot of information regarding where your ancestors came from. If that’s something that interests you then it’s perfect for finding your heritage, however, there isn’t much on offer when it comes to understanding your genetics.
- Free shipping is available!
- The extraction process is very simple – only a few swabs and a small amount of saliva needed
- Extensive data on your ancestry including their migration patterns
- A little on the pricey side
- Lacks a large amount of DNA and genetic results
The gene test provided by 24Genetics analyzes up to a whopping 700,000 genetic markers for over 200 diseases – making their tests one of the most detailed and extensive on the market. Diseases include testing for predispositions to many types of cancers, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease, celiac, and Parkinson’s. 24Genetics helps customers find medication suitable for them through testing predisposition to drugs to provide personalized medicine.
- Covers a massive range of diseases (over 200!)
- Provides advice for personalized medicine
- Complete report – extremely in-depth
- The company doesn’t specifically state how long results will take
- For some reason, some of the terms and conditions are written in Spanish!
- $199 for Health DNA analysis report
EasyDNA offers over 40 different tests and even offers to test your pets (slightly off topic but amusing nonetheless!). Health tests include skincare, diet and fitness, lactose, celiac disease and a genetic predisposition test for a range of diseases and disorders. The report you receive is highly comprehensive and surprisingly easy to understand – no wonder it’s called ‘EasyDNA’.
- Easy extraction process
- Great customer service – awarded the WhatClinic’s Customer Service Award two years in a row
- Offers testing for a wide range of diseases – 25 in total
- Can take up to 8 weeks to receive results
- Each test is priced separately rather than a bundle package
- $199 for the genetic predisposition test (if you would like to add lactose or celiac disease to the test, you will need to purchase these results separately.)
Consumer access to genetic information is a relatively new field and a big step forward. We’re now able to receive a huge wealth of information by simply swabbing or spitting into a test tube. When it comes to discovering your genetic predispositions, DNA testing for health reasons can give you a whole new perspective. Whether the results are positive or negative, it can lead you to make life-changing decisions when it comes to managing you and your family’s medicine and lifestyle.