In This Article
In This Article
This question can’t be answered with exact certainty, as many factors come into play. Ultimately, no DNA analysis is patently inaccurate. However, some DNA testing companies are more reliable than others when it comes to specific areas.
For example, DNA testing services like AncestryDNA offer popular ethnicity tests that are incredibly reliable. For an ancestry test, the above-mentioned DNA testing companies are highly recommended.
The exact accuracy of your test results may vary depending on a few potential factors. These include:
We looked into the top DNA services to tell you what we found!
The DNA test kits covered in this article are taken at home and not given by doctors or professionals. Therefore, they are not meant to diagnose any illnesses or provide any guarantees.
These home DNA test kits are primarily for entertainment. They’ll help you learn some new information about yourself. They’ll also help establish your carrier status for certain conditions. However, when it comes to your health and wellness, nothing beats a licensed medical practitioner.
Your DNA results can provide some surprising info about your genetic predisposition to certain ailments. Ancestry testing can help you find new additions to your family tree. Any health reports you receive in your DNA analysis are simply suggestions to improve health. The report may include things like:
A dietician or nutritionist could have made most of these 'actionable' suggestions. They could have done it even without sequencing your genetic data. However, the difference lies in the tailored results you’ll receive in a DNA testing company’s health report. They may offer some additional insights you may have missed otherwise.
Many of these kits focus on ethnicity or ancestry testing instead of your health and wellness. However, one downside is that the outcomes can be somewhat vague.
If you’re looking for something specific, say Native American blood, Jewish ancestry, or Irish lineage, you may find your final percentages unclear.
Even if most of your genetic ancestry originates from one of these populations, it won’t be enough to gain access to organizations associated with these ethnic groups. However, they can give you fun information like how much Neanderthal DNA you might have.
Genetic testing can be effectively used to find distant relatives or long-lost family members as well.
If genetic genealogy is your goal, DNA testing kits are a great option. They allow you to track your maternal line with mtDNA tests (mitochondrial DNA tests). They can also track your paternal line with y-chromosome tests (Y-DNA test).
DNA services like AncestryDNA and 23andMe even offer tools to build an online family tree!
When it comes to the accuracy of testing for ethnicity, most at-home DNA test kits aren’t much more than a novelty. Many give you a breakdown by percentage of your genetic makeup and tell you where your genetic data came from.
For some tests, this tracking starts at the emergence of proto-hominids out of Africa. Others track more recent movements, up to and including the last few generations.
The rough ethnicity estimates provided by these home DNA testing kits are usually adequate for the average consumer. If you’re looking for something more specific, it’s best to ask why you’re seeking this particular answer. This path of inquiry usually evolves from questions about your status regarding Native American, Jewish, or ethnic minority ancestry.
In all these cases, the results of an at-home DNA testing kit will not be sufficient to justify any substantiated claims to these ethnic groups.
With Native Americans, connections to the community - and acceptance by a tribe - are often based on documented genealogical history. This is even if you’re 100% Native American genetically.
In this regard, you shouldn’t seek accuracy in testing for ethnicity, but more so the accuracy of an ancestry test.
Ancestry is where these at-home DNA kits may be most reliable. This helps determine if you’re a member of certain minority groups.
Finding compatriots to guide you is often the best method for those seeking to find a more profound attachment to their heritage. If you find someone currently a part of a Native American tribe, your search may be successful.
For Native American individuals in the United States of America, acceptance by a tribe is often required to receive any benefits associated with the status.
The same is often the case in Canada. This also applies in other jurisdictions that recognize exclusive rights for their indigenous cultures. The best way to learn more about your ancestry is to reach out to these distant relatives.
A bonus of connecting with relatives is to learn more details about their medical history and shared ancestors. This family history is often just as relevant as the test results you’d receive with an at-home genetic health test.
The health implications of your genetic makeup are usually based on slight increases in the health risks of developing certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s. The accuracy of these health reports varies significantly depending on numerous factors.
There are two main groups of health risk assessment when it comes to genetics: gene-based risk factors and genetic risk estimates.
Gene-based risk factors: These illnesses are due to mutations in specific genes, often with a stronger connection to genetic variants and diseases.
Genetic risk estimates: Also known as Genetic Risk Scores (GRS), these results combine an accumulated health risk of a given illness based on many different genetic mutations.
All mutations associated with blood pressure can be combined to provide an overall risk assessment. Even mutations with a minimal, singular effect. These scores are speculatory and will increase in accuracy as research proceeds.
In both regards, 23andMe offers the most and is at the forefront of genetic health information.
The question of which DNA test is most accurate receives a definitive answer in this realm. It’s the only FDA-approved test to provide results on your health and predispositions to illness and disease.
This all depends on the type of test you’re looking for. In terms of the best actionable test results with unmatched accuracy, the 23andMe Health + Ancestry test is hard to beat.
AncestryDNA (available on Amazon and Ancestry.com) and MyHeritage DNA also offer incredibly accurate ethnicity and ancestry DNA test kits.
FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and Living DNA all offer some very accurate ancestry test kits.
With 23andMe, you can even get a package deal that includes their top-of-the-line Health + Ancestry test together!
AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe are probably the best for finding long-lost relatives. The popularity of these DNA testing services means they have massive DNA databases to find potential DNA matches.
The price of an accurate DNA testing kit can vary quite a bit.
If you’re looking for something incredibly accurate, you’ll want to avoid the cheaper tests.
The best would be the 23andMe Health + Ancestry test, which will cost you $149 on Amazon.
If that’s too expensive for you, check out AncestryDNA’s Genealogy & Ethnicity Test for $69 (also available on Amazon or Ancestry.com).
When figuring out which DNA test is the most accurate, it all depends on what you’re looking for.
The DNA test kits that show your family tree, such as those from 23andMe and AncestryDNA, are the best if you’re looking to forge connections and relations with family members, shared ethnic groups, or organizations.
23andMe gets the trophy for accuracy of testing for genetic health. Their focus on health risks is continuously updated and reviewed, and unmatched in the field at the current time.
Consider undertaking the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Test and download your DNA raw data. Search for genetic connections by applying your genetic information from another service.