Discover how to choose from the best DNA test kits, what’s the best one health, and where to find it and how to shop for it.
Before you start reading the reviews, you need to decide what you want from genetics testing kits, because DNA can reveal a lot of different things about you, your health, ancestry, and nutrition.
At-home testing is all the rage, but the popularity of this new technology has blindsided regulators around the world, meaning that some tests are simply more reliable than others. This guide will help you identify the best test kits so you don’t put your money into the wrong one.
How to choose the right company company
The best testing for health is provided by companies that invest heavily in geneticists, data scientists, and medical professionals. Why does it matter? Genetic testing for health is a highly specific field that requires pointilious understanding of human DNA, genes, and their functions.
The best DNA kits have easy-to-use saliva collection tubes
Recently, a scandal involving an American DNA test for nutrition hit the headlines because they provided results based on generic health claims that weren’t personalised at all. Further investigation showed that people’s test results were different if they took the test twice. And that’s exactly why you need to do your research before paying to give your precious genetic information to a company.
If you’re based in the UK or Europe, choose a service that is registered with the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, like AtlasBioMed. Built by doctors, geneticists, and published scientists, it is also approved for sale in the EU because it has a CE-mark.
The best tests
Top testing for health markers offers a combination of hereditary disease and multifactorial disease results. In other words, the test will check if you have gene variants that you could pass on to children, and assess the risk that your child will become a carrier or even develop a hereditary disease as a result (but this also depends on the other parent’s genetics too).
When it comes to multifactorial diseases, the best genetic testing kits will evaluate how your genes influence the risk of getting many common illnesses, like diabetes type 2 and heart disease. For the most accurate, the test will also include a questionnaire that assesses risks in your lifestyle and environment, like diet, exercise, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
What a DNA health test can tell you
- Hereditary disease carrier status
- Multifactorial disease risks
- Genetic predisposition to nutrient levels
- Genetic ancestry
- Personal traits
- Sports injury risks
Other results you can expect to find include your predisposition to above-average or below-average nutrient levels, like vitamins, fatty acids, and some minerals (iron). However, these results can’t tell you what to eat based on these findings – you would need a blood test and a doctor to see if your nutrient levels are a problem because many of them are obtained from food.
Diagnostic or at-home testing?
It’s important to remember when you’re checking DNA testing kit reviews that many people invest in tests without fully understanding how it works and the limitations of their chosen service. At-home tests check for common and/or reliably studied gene variants in hereditary diseases – but some diseases are associated with many different gene variants.
So if you have a family history of hereditary disease, you need to consult a doctor or genetic counsellor for diagnostic testing. Diagnostic testing differs from at-home genetics testing kit options because it is solely focused on a specific disease or subset of diseases.
Multifactorial disease risks
Another way to find the best genetic test for your health is to see whether the company offers a genetic counseling service. Genetic counselors have accredited specialists who are trained to help people understand test results and refer them to doctors if necessary. If you are in Europe, check out this at-home health DNA test company here that also offers genetic counseling.
Best ancestry testing
According to DNAWeekly, to choose the best ancestry kit, you need to figure out whether you’re just interested in your geographical ethnicity, or if you want to connect with relatives because there are risks involved. After all, your DNA is the result of parental mingling in the womb, and that indirectly links you to many people around the world.
The best ancestry tests include a breakdown of your geographical ancestry. In fact, the test for ethnicity will use a pie chart and a map that indicates what percentage of your DNA is linked to populations in different parts of the world. It can also tell you what ratio of Neanderthal genes you have and your haplogroups.
If you’re wondering what the genealogy tests are, then you might want to consider a test that connects you with relatives. The best genealogy test will allow you to build a virtual family tree. That’s because you can add in your own findings on your genealogy from interviews with family members and public records, putting names and faces on the people of your past.
A DNA heritage test kit can help find your ancestors
Remember that a DNA heritage test kit that connects you with relatives could accidentally show that you were adopted and no one told you. If you’re a man, it could even reveal that your child is not, in fact, your biological child. Not to mention that it can connect you to distant relatives that have vested interests in getting to know you.
How do the best kits work
Making a genetic testing kit is no small feat: it requires years of work by a scientific team and bioinformaticians. The best DNA testing service will have a laboratory that uses world-class technology, like Illumina, and medical-grade sample collection kits.
Information about the technical specifications and regulatory approval can be found on their website. You can even email them directly because a reliable service will answer quickly and helpfully with this information.
At-home testing is pretty simple for consumers. All you need to do is collect a saliva sample and send it back. There are a few more steps overall that we’ve listed below:
- Order the test online
- Register your kit and create a personal account
- Read the instructions carefully
- Spit in the tube up to the line
- Seal, put in return box, and send off
- Wait for laboratory testing to finish
- Check out your results online
Just remember this
So the next time you’re googling this topic, remember that conducting your own research is essential. It can be helpful to check out some articles for different information and make a comparison, but choosing the best kit depends on your purpose
A genetics test kit collects some very personal information, your DNA, and you must ensure that it is stored safely with strong IT security protocols. Your DNA is unique, and it can have monetary value for companies that sometimes sell it to third-parties for economic gain. So make sure you read and fully understand their services, the test results, and the user agreement before you buy one.