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The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks
Updated on February 6, 2024
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DNA Testing
The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks

DNA tests have made discovering valuable health and genetic risk information more accessible. Several reputable companies offer comprehensive DNA tests that provide insights into your genetic makeup.

These tests can assess your genetic predisposition to specific health conditions or the most common genetic disorders. They can also provide a quick look into potential risks so you can manage them early and properly.

Health-focused DNA tests can also provide details about your ancestry. They can cover a range of conditions, from hereditary conditions to traits that can influence your overall well-being.

Let’s look at the best DNA tests for learning about your health and genetic risks.

Everything We Recommend

For Ancestry DNA Testing

The Best DNA Tests for Health

Features23AndMeNebula GenomicsLiving DNAHomeDNA
Cost$119-$229$99-$899$80-$149$69-$159
Database Size12+ millionUnknownUnknownUnknown
Testing MethodY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal testingY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal testingY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal testingAutosomal testing
SampleSalivaCheek swabCheek swabCheek swab, buccal scrapings
Results Processing Time4-6 weeks8 weeks6-8 weeks6 weeks

23andMe

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 7
Source: 23AndMe

23andMe is the best fit for beginners due to its user-friendly interface and easy navigation, making it accessible for users new to genetic testing.

Its analysis is divided into three main categories—health, ancestry, and traits—providing its users with a well-rounded understanding of their genetic makeup.

It provides 150+ personalized reports, including Type 2 Diabetes, BRCA1/BRCA2 (breast cancer genes), and Celiac disease. It also offers Ancestry Service.

23Andme provides insights about lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and sleep. It can help you make informed decisions based on your muscle composition, genetic weight, and alcohol flush reaction.

If you're considering starting a family, 23AndMe can help determine whether you're a carrier for genetic variants linked to certain inherited health conditions.

Price: $229

Where to buy 23AndMe: You can buy 23AndMe’s Health + Ancestry service on their website

Pros

  • Many new users liked how easy it is to navigate on the website and app
  • There is tons to learn with its in-depth information on health, traits, and ancestry
  • Many found it great for finding family connections and identifying heritage-related health issues due to its massive database
  • They constantly add new reports and features, so check back for updates

Cons

  • Some found the health reports to be not as comprehensive as expected
  • Additional features need a subscription and come with an additional cost
  • Regional ancestry accuracy can vary
  • Some users express concerns about data security


Read our full 23andme review here.

Nebula Genomics

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 8
Source: Nebula Genomics

One of the key features of Nebula Genomics is its carrier status screening. This part of the test can thoroughly examine your genetic makeup to understand better if you can pass on specific conditions and traits.

Through this, you will know what measures to take in case you plan on getting pregnant.

Nebula Genomics can perform whole-genome sequencing, which claims to decode 100% of a person’s DNA, providing an extensive and detailed analysis. With tools like the Genome Browser and Gene Analysis, you can dig deep into your DNA and learn more about yourself.

With regular updates that are typically provided weekly with new insights from studies, Nebula Genomics can help you stay informed about the latest developments in carrier status-related research.

Price: $99

Where to buy Nebula Genomics: You can buy the Nebula Genomics Standard on their website

Pros

  • Highly accurate whole genome sequencing
  • Provides well-researched information
  • Detailed exploration of your DNA at the granular level
  • Extensive privacy measures to keep your information safe and confidential

Cons

  • Ultra Deep Whole Genome Sequencing is expensive
  • Nobody’s sure of how large their DNA database is
  • Long turnaround time to get results

Read our full Nebula Genomics review here.

Living DNA

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 9
Source: Living DNA

Living DNA is widely regarded as an exceptional DNA test for gaining information about genetics and health, largely owing to its comprehensive approach.

The Wellbeing Kit from Living DNA offers a holistic analysis of how genetics influences various health and lifestyle choices.

One of its key strengths is providing detailed reports on genetic responses to nutrition, exercise, and recovery.

A notable feature of Living DNA is its integration of ancestry and health information, providing users with a complete understanding of their genetic makeup. This dual focus allows individuals to explore the impact of their heritage and genetics on their overall well-being.

The Wellbeing Kit from Living DNA specifically addresses exercise and nutrition, examining how the body responds to different types of exercises and how it metabolizes various foods.

This personalized approach enables users to tailor their fitness routines and dietary choices based on their genetic predispositions, promoting a more targeted and effective well-being strategy.

Price: $105 + Shipping

Where to buy LivingDNA: You can buy the LivingDNA Wellbeing Kit on their website

Pros

  • It has a streamlined process with a simple DNA mouth swab
  • User-friendly online platform
  • Many people found it convenient to track the status of their kit and view the results
  • Many users loved its personalized approach to nutrition and health
  • Considers privacy of utmost importance and doesn’t share or sell data

Cons

  • Nobody’s sure of how large their DNA database is, making it hard for some to trust their results as they don’t know how many points of reference LivingDNA has
  • Long wait time for results

Read our full LivingDNA review here.

HomeDNA

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 10
Source: HomeDNA

HomeDNA provides health insights with its four DNA tests. These are Food and Pet Sensitivity, Skin Care, Healthy Weight, and a Paternity Test, which they claim to be America’s number one.

The HomeDNA Food and Pet Sensitivity Test is a DNA test that identifies how your genes may make you more sensitive to common irritants in eight key areas, such as:

  • Gluten
  • Lactose
  • Cow Milk Protein
  • Egg
  • Peanut
  • Other Foods
  • Histamine
  • Pet Dander

The Skin Care Test reveals your skin’s genetic potential so you can choose the most effective topical ingredients, supplement ingredients, and professional treatments based on your DNA.

The Healthy Weight Test helps you achieve a healthy weight using insights from your genetic code. It identifies your genetic makeup and provides diet and exercise strategies tailored to your genotype.

Price: $139-$159

Where to buy HomeDNA: You can buy HomeDNA on their website

Pros

  • Flexibility with multiple tests to choose from
  • Simple extraction process
  • Users appreciate that it does not maintain a database of customer information and will not share or sell your DNA sequence or markers with any third party, including law enforcement agencies
  • Provides the option to destroy your DNA sample after your test results are delivered

Cons

  • Some users expressed doubts about the efficacy of specialized tests
  • No obvious next step or any actionable information that comes with your results

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Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

Why Use DNA Tests to Learn About Your Health?

DNA tests are useful in learning about your health, which can help identify the necessary steps or changes in the medical care you or your family receives.

DNA testing is identifying variations or mutations in your genes.1 For instance, it can help diagnose if you have a predisposition regarding certain diseases or if you are at risk of developing specific kinds of cancer.

DNA testing lets you learn whether you have a genetic condition that runs in your family before you even have symptoms. Early detection can help in better management of your health.

DNA testing can also help identify a treatment plan.

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 11

What Can Your DNA Tell You About Your Health?

Using DNA tests to learn about your health can provide valuable insights into your genetic makeup and its potential impact on various aspects of your well-being. Here are some reasons to use DNA tests for health:

  • Know your genetic health risks – DNA tests can reveal your genetic predisposition to certain health conditions. This information empowers you to take proactive steps to manage and reduce risks.
  • Choose better nutrition for your health – Some DNA tests can detail how your body processes nutrients, which helps you make personalized dietary choices to optimize your nutrition.
  • Create personalized fitness routines – DNA tests can shed light on how your body responds to different types of exercise, helping you customize your fitness routine for maximum effectiveness.
  • Helps with disease prevention – Identifying genetic markers linked to specific diseases allows for early awareness and preventive measures. You can make lifestyle changes and regular check-ups to catch potential health issues early.2
  • Choose more effective medications – Certain DNA tests explain how your body might react to certain medications. Genetic variations can affect how drugs work for you when considering treatment plans.
  • Family awareness – DNA testing contributes to a better understanding of your family's health history. This information is valuable for your health and informing other family members about potential genetic risks.

What to Consider When Choosing a DNA Testing Kit

Choosing a DNA testing kit is critical in learning more about your health. Several factors should be considered to know you are making the proper choice:

  • Purpose or test type – Main reasons for taking the test such as health insights, ancestry, paternity, or a combination
  • Reputation – Credibility of the DNA testing company for reliable results
  • Privacy policy – How the testing company handles and secures your genetic data
  • Database size – Bigger DNA database increases the likelihood of finding relatives and receiving more accurate ancestry and health-related results
  • Turnaround time – How long it takes to process and receive your results from a few weeks to a few months
  • Price – Price of the DNA testing kit, including additional fees for accessing certain features or obtaining more detailed reports
  • Customer support – A responsive and helpful customer support team can address any concerns or questions you may have during the testing process

How Accurate Are DNA Tests When It Comes to Health?

DNA tests are really helpful in understanding your health more. However, no test offers an absolute comprehensive health risk assessment. The actual percentage for accuracy of DNA tests for health is unknown.3

While your genes impact your health, other factors, like nutrition, exercise, environment, and family medical history, are also important.

Consult with your doctor if you are concerned about inherited health issues. Your doctor can provide guidance and personalized strategies for screening, treatment, and lifestyle modifications based on your family history and existing health conditions.

What Are the Most Common Health Conditions DNA Tests Detect?

DNA tests can include screening for certain inherited health conditions, including:

  • Cancer risk – DNA tests may identify mutations in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are genetic mutations that increase the risk of ovarian or breast cancer among women4
  • Type 2 diabetes – Genetic factors can contribute to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which a DNA test can provide insight into (especially regarding metabolic conditions)5
  • Cardiovascular diseases – Some DNA tests analyze genetic markers linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and high blood pressure6
  • Alzheimer’s risk – Some DNA tests can help assess genetic markers related to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia but cannot give a definitive diagnosis7
  • Obesity – There are DNA tests that can help identify your risk for obesity, which allows you to create personalized and more effective nutrition and exercise regimens

Are There Disorders DNA Tests Can’t Detect?

DNA tests can only detect disorders that can be passed on or inherited.

DNA tests can only tell if you have a specific gene variant or mutation. They cannot identify with absolute certainty if you will contract that disease.

Therefore, a DNA test can tell what disease you may be at risk of, but it cannot tell for certain what will happen.

A positive test result does not always mean you will get the disease. A negative result does not mean you have no risk of getting the disease. Health risks can change due to lifestyle choices, environment, and aging.

DNA tests can tell your predisposition but cannot identify how you might show the symptoms of the disease, how severe it can be, or how it will progress.

What Should I Do After a DNA Test?

Whatever the result of your DNA test for health, you should always consult a healthcare professional for guidance. Talking to a genetic counselor is also recommended, as they can interpret the results better.

The Best DNA Tests for Learning About Your Health and Genetic Risks 12

Discussing your results with a professional can help you better understand your potential health risks and the implications of such findings.

Share relevant health information with your family members, as genetic predispositions can also affect them.

What Do I Do If My DNA Test Tells Me I’m At Risk?

If your DNA test tells you there’s an increased risk for specific conditions, work with your doctor for a proactive plan. This may include lifestyle changes, enhanced screenings, regular tests, and other preventive measures.

Can I Still Develop Genetic Disorders Even If My DNA Test Says I’m Not At Risk?

Yes.

A negative DNA test result may mean you have no genetic predisposition to getting the disease. However, health risks can change due to lifestyle choices, environment, and aging.

Am I A Carrier for Genetic Conditions?

Learning whether you are a carrier for genetic conditions typically involves undergoing carrier screening through DNA testing.

Get a DNA test if you are concerned about being a carrier and have a family history of specific genetic conditions.

Carrier screening can identify whether you carry genetic mutations associated with certain conditions, even if you do not show symptoms.

Consult your doctor and genetic counselor for guidance on the appropriate testing based on your circumstances. Once the results are out, they can also guide you in understanding risks and health management.

How We Picked the Best DNA Tests for Health

We take product recommendations very seriously at KnowYourDNA, so we only want to endorse trusted products that we know work. Here are our criteria for evaluating products:

  • Price and value for money – Is the product worth how much you’re paying for it? We consider how much you’re getting in exchange for your money, so we try to only recommend products that live up to their price tag.
  • Comprehensiveness of results – DNA tests that only offer baseline information and don’t go in-depth at all aren’t very useful to us at KnowYourDNA. So we try to only recommend services that give you a lot of information and detail.
  • Privacy and security – We considered tests that took good care of your private information, even those with caveats that they sometimes allow law enforcement to look at their data.
  • Variety – We tried to find a good range of products that would be useful for a variety of users and consumers.
  • Company reputation – We made sure to only recommend products by companies that have been proven to be trustworthy and make efficient, useful tests.
  • Customer service – All the companies we mentioned have given us positive customer service experiences, and this is consistent amongst other reviews we’ve read.
  • Convenience and accessibility – Tests shouldn’t be too difficult to purchase and use, so the simpler the process, the better. Many of these tests are locally available and are even easier to purchase online.

Why Trust Us

KnowYourDNA is committed to making healthcare more accessible to the public, which is why we feature products that meet industry standards.

We only choose at-home test kits that undergo reliable testing methods. We also picked test companies with science-backed reports aimed at improving your health.

Our in-house medical experts help ensure the accuracy of the information we give to our readers by reviewing them before publication.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
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7 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. 1) “Genetic Testing.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. 2) “What Can At-Home Genetic Tests Tell Me About My Health?” National Library of Medicine.

  3. 3) “What Can At-home Genetic Tests Tell Me About My Health?” American Medical Association.

  4. 4) “BRCA Gene Mutations: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing.” National Cancer Institute.

  5. 5) “Is Genetic testing useful to predict type 2 diabetes?” National Library of Medicine.

  6. 6) “Genetic testing for heart diseases may help patients and families identify risks.” American Heart Association.

  7. 7) “Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Health.

Katrina Canlas
Katrina Canlas
Content Contributor
KC Canlas is an experienced content writer for Know Your DNA. She combines her passion for storytelling with a deep understanding of DNA and genetics. She creates engaging content that can empower readers with knowledge about their genetic makeup, promoting a greater understanding of the role DNA plays in their lives.
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