What if we told you that there’s a way to go back in time? And what if we ALSO told you that there’s a way to get insight on yourself that no one has ever told you before? Well, there’s definitely a way (but we don’t actually mean time travel and a psychic combined into some amazing gadget.) We’ll walk through this in our 23andMe review.
What is 23andMe?
23andMe, founded in 2006, provides genetic testing services, generating insight on each customer’s specific ancestry and genetic predispositions.
All you need to do to get started is:
- Order a kit online. Kits can also be purchased in stores like Walgreens and Target but come with additional steps for setup as you’ll still have to pay your lab fee through 23andMe online. There are three separate kits to choose from that offer different reports, which we mention below.
- You’ll then be required to provide a sample of your saliva that you’ll mail back (with free shipping).
- Set up your account online, and voila – in two to three weeks, you’ll have exclusive information on your ancestry and your health.
Each kit is a little different. Here’s a breakdown of each:
Ancestry + Traits – $20 Off
- $99 – now on sale for $79
- Pulls from over 1,500 geographic regions
- Automatically builds a family tree
- Over 30 trait reports
- DNA relative finder
Health + Ancestry
- $199 now on sale for $129
- Offers the same reports as Ancestry + Traits
- Over 10 health predisposition reports
- Over 5 Wellness reports
- Over 40 carrier status reports
VIP Health + Ancestry (Bundle)
- $499 on sale for $429 for two Health + Ancestry Kits
- Overnight shipping
- Lab priority
- Quality customer support
- 1 on 1 walkthrough of results with a 23andMe expert
So… what do these reports actually tell you?
The test’s ability to trace back to the past means that you’ll be able to pinpoint the places and the history that makes you, you. You’ll gain insight into family history that even your great, great grandparents may not be able to tell you.
This report shows you how your DNA is spread out across more than 1,500 different regions worldwide. From this, you can learn where your ancestors lived over 500 years ago. Say ‘hello’ to your next idea for a vacation!
You can start building your family tree and find relatives that no one in your family even knew existed. All it takes is your DNA to find out if you’re related to a famous historian or artist. Sounds pretty cool to us.
DNA Relative Finder
It’s possible that you could have relatives spread out all over the world. You can opt-in to connect with people who share your DNA – and even send them a message. From there, the possibilities are endless if can connect. Connections can be made through the online portal where you can then meet up, share stories and photos and possibly learn new things about your ancestors’ historic culture.
The 30 + reports you receive will tell you your likelihood of having certain characteristics. The results let you look at the science behind the way your DNA effects your hair color and facial features like freckles and dimples. Hate a certain food? You may be able to tell your mom that you really weren’t picky all of those years, it was actually a part of your DNA to dislike certain tastes. For example, the test tells you if you are more likely dislike cilantro because some people have a genetic marker that makes it taste soapy.
Gaining insight into your DNA makeup means that 23andMe is also able to give you a heads up on any health risks that you may be predisposed to like Type 2 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. Knowing these risks allows you the chance to take preventative action for what’s possibly to come. Learning how genetics can influence your chances of developing certain health conditions could help you plan ahead and live a longer life. Sign us up!
If you’ve thought about starting a family, 23andMe tells you if you are a carrier for certain genetic conditions. The results offer over 40 potential risk factors that could be passed down to your children, such as cystic fibrosis and hearing loss.
23andMe also lets you discover how your DNA impacts your well-being. There’s a chance that if you struggle with losing weight or have difficulty sleeping, it may be stemming from your DNA. Or, if you’ve been noticing that some foods don’t sit well with you, you could trace it to something like lactose intolerance.
Let’s review who 23andMe is up against
23andMe offers quite a few health reports that most other online DNA testing companies don’t. However, there is one large competitor in the market, AncestryDNA, an expansion of the original ancestry.com. Until recently, 23andMe was the only DNA testing company of its kind to deliver health-related results. AncestryDNA has followed 23andMe’s footsteps and has added this feature to its offerings.
If the main thing you’re seeking from a DNA test is the family tree aspect, Ancestry may be a better choice. The main distinguisher between the two companies is that Ancestry has specialized in connecting family trees and helping people find relatives through the duration of their existence. It’s definitely their specialty. While 23andMe also offers this capability, it’s much newer and therefore has a smaller customer bank and may not be as successful in finding results.
While Ancestry has been around longer, both company’s tests are still highly reliable. 23andMe checks 570,000 genetic markers and AncestryDNA checks 700,000, which could arguably provide slightly more accurate results, but likely not a noticeable amount.
23andMe Review: The good
There are lots of reasons to love 23andMe, here are a few:
- The process is simple, and can all be done from the comfort of your home
- Your information will not be shared with third parties without your permission
- Genotyping is anonymous so your genetic material will be stored independently from your name
- You get to take a trip to the past and find out more about where you came from
- Your results can tell you things you never knew about yourself and help you plan for your future health
- Offers health reports with greater details than competitors on what genetic markers are causing certain possible health concerns and offers more total health reports in general
23andMe Review: The not so good
Like all products and services, not everyone will be a fan. Here are a few things you may see as a downside to 23andMe:
- If you want health results in addition to ancestry reports, 23andMe is slightly more expensive than AncestryDNA
- There is a very limited return policy as you have 30 days from placing your order to request a refund. If you request a refund and your sample has already begun the testing process, you will not receive a refund on the lab fee.
- 23andMe’s ancestry timeline only goes back 8 generations at most
- The company doesn’t have as large of a customer base as some competitors, meaning fewer family tree results
23andMe Review Verdict
Will you and 23andMe be a good match?
Have you ever been curious about your genetic heritage because you want to experience the places that made you who you are? Or because you’re seeking missing links in your family tree? Are you hoping to find a bond with a community of people who are truly similar to you? Or maybe you’ve been curious about how your biological makeup could impact your health down the road. People often wonder what traits make them the way they are and make them who they are. If this is you, and you want quick and easy to understand answers to these types of questions, 23andMe is definitely worth checking out!