In this article, we look at these hugely popular genetic testing kits and find out what you get for the 23andme price tag!
Home genetic testing kits seem to be on everyone’s wish lists this year, with one even showing up on Oprah Winfrey’s list of favorite things.
These very affordable kits, like those from 23andme, National Geographic, and ancestry.com can study your genes using just a sample of your saliva.
Oprah Winfrey recently said “We all want to be able to picture where we came from, so why not give a friend a genetic test that provides some answers? The good news is you’re probably not related to Attila the Hun. The bad news is that you’re probably not part of George Clooney’s family, either.
Is the 23andme price too high?
Before we answer the question of whether the 23andme price is worth it, we should point out that there are 2 different versions of their DNA testing kits.
The first type of genetic testing offered by 23andme tests for both your health and ancestry. The cheaper version just has the ancestry test. Both versions analyze your DNA by a process called genotyping.
Humans have around 3 billion pairs of DNA in our genome. That’s a whole heap of information to wade through. Using the genotyping technology, 23andme can look for specific parts of your DNA and give amazing insights into your past, present, and future.
The health reports give you insights into your physical traits, For example, if you’re likely to have a double-chin or frizzy hair, wellness (such as how well you metabolize alcohol or if you’re cut out to be a marathon runner, and more importantly, your carrier status for specific genetic mutations.
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has given 23andme full permission to supply customers with reports on their genetic risk of certain diseases.
These include Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. And for females, it can detect if they have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. At the time of writing, the health test has over 75 reports with more being added by the company.
The ancestry reports give customers access to information about their ancestors.
You can find out the geographic regions that your genes align with, and genetic populations that share common ancestors, and you can even find out about your Neanderthal ancestry.
Customers of 23andme also get the DNA Relatives tool. This allows 23andme users a way of connecting with other users in the database that might be relatives!
How much does it cost to do the 23andme genetic test?
The 23andme price depends on which version of the test you are after. Below you can see the current prices of both types of tests. The first box relates to the ancestry test and the second box shows the ancestry + health test.
What can you find out with a 23andme ANCESTRY test?
Where in the world your DNA is from?
The 23andme price includes fascinating info about where your ancestors lived over 500 years ago. You can investigate your ancestors’ origins from places including East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe.
Find your real DNA Family!
We all have our existing families, but did you know you can share DNA with other 23andme users? (These are your DNA Relatives!) By using this unique (and totally anonymous) report, you can find out just how many DNA relatives you have in your country and even around the world. And for those that want more info, you can opt into the DNA Relatives tool to find, connect and contact people that share the same DNA as you on this new kind of social network.
Are you a little bit Neanderthal?
Neanderthals died out some 40,000 years ago but did you know that their DNA lives on in us? Scientists tell us that they bred with humans some 60,000 years ago. The 23andme genetic test kit can let you know just how much of your DNA comes from Neanderthals. It can even point to specific Neanderthal DNA that is associated with traits such as height and hair color.
Learn about your origins!
Discover the origins of your maternal (your mother’s mother’s mother’s…) and paternal (your father’s father’s father’s…) ancestors and how they moved around the world over the years. The report gives detailed information about maternal and paternal lineage by studying your haplogroup.
What can you find out with the 23andme HEALTH test?
If you are a carrier of a disease or condition.
Every one of us carries a huge number of genetic variations. From differences in single DNA “letters” to duplications or deletions of whole chromosomes. The carrier status reports tell you about potential issues that could affect the health of your future family. Carrier status testing looks for genetic variations that could cause inherited conditions to be passed along to your children.
If you are at risk of developing certain health conditions.
The genetic health risk reports let you know if you have genetic variants associated with increased risks of developing certain health conditions. Having a particular variant does not necessarily mean you will develop the condition because other factors such as lifestyle, environment, and family history are also very important, too. For many of these conditions, prevention and treatment options may be available.
How to interpret the results!
After you have received your detailed health reports, you should find out more about your results by meeting with a genetic counselor or health care professional that has specialized training in genetic conditions. You can click this link to go to the National Society of Genetic Counselors to search for a genetic counselor in your area.
We should point out that learning that you are at risk of developing a disease could be very difficult to hear so you should seriously consider this before jumping into the testing procedure.
How does the 23andme test work?
Each package is a home-based saliva collection kit that you simply send to the 23andme DNA lab. The process couldn’t be any easier!
Step 1 – Order your kit from Amazon
Click here to order the ancestry test
Click here to order the health & ancestry test
Step 2 – Just spit
Full instructions are given but all you need to do is spit in the tube provided!
Then register your saliva tube with the bar code and send it to the 23andme lab using the pre-paid package.
Step 3 – Learn about your DNA
It takes about 6-8 weeks for the lab to analyze your results.
When the reports are ready, 23andme will send you an email. Then just log in to your online account to discover what your DNA says about you.
Who owns 23andme?
23andme was founded by Anne Wojcicki. She is the wife of (but now separated from) Google’s co-founder Sergey Brinhad.
For more than 10 years, Anne has had a simple mission – To give people direct access to their medical data.
Why was 23andme founded?
Up until now, we have been able to keep track of our finances, travel arrangements, and shopping online, but not our health data.
Arguably, this is the most important information we can possess. For example, don’t you want to know whether you and your offspring are at risk of cancer or whether you are a carrier of sickle cell anemia?
In 2006, Anne Wojcicki left her career in the biotech industry to start 23andme. Her goal was to help people have access to their health data by simply sending a sample of their saliva to a laboratory.
Anne Wojcicki was always impressed by the eagerness of individuals to learn about their health and take action. They just needed the opportunity and time to learn and absorb. Since her earliest days, she wanted to pioneer a path where people can get their genetic information directly without having to go through a physician or genetic counselor for access or interpretation.
Fast forward to 2018 and 23andme is ranked 7th on CNBC’s 2018 Disruptor list! This is in part due to the groundbreaking service of telling users their risks of contracting cancer, Celiac disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Prospective parents can also find out if they are unwittingly carriers of cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, hearing loss, and a host of other abnormalities.
23andme says that more than 5 million people have used its products. Wojcicki hopes that her company’s success encourages other health companies to pursue the direct-to-consumer model.
Wojcicki said 23andme’s investors wholly support a focus on the consumer to find the right way to help fix the broken healthcare experience. The 23andme testing service was founded to help patients personally manage and control their health.
23andme Facts & Standards
- All reports meet FDA criteria for scientific and clinical validity
- Saliva samples are all processed in CLIA-certified & CAP-accredited labs
- The DNA collection kit is FDA approved for use
- Genotyping is a well-established and safe technique for analyzing DNA
- Approved scientists & medical experts use rigorous procedures to develop reports
- Your personalized reports are based on proven scientific and medical research
- Ancestry estimate percentages are accurate down to the 0.1%
So is 23andme worth it?
In our opinion, the home DNA testing kit is one of the greatest innovations of our century. It is definitely worth the 23and me price tag for such detailed information.
To be able to find out information about your ancestors and your family’s origins is incredibly interesting. And to be able to get in touch with members of your DNA family is very cool, too.
On a serious note, in our opinion, this kind of genetic health test should be available for everyone on our planet. Don’t we deserve to know if we are susceptible to a particular disease and more importantly if this condition could be passed on to our kids?
Whether you want these fascinating and potentially life-saving insights is a matter of personal choice but before you decide, take a look at some of these fascinating videos from 23andme’s happy customers.
If you liked this article, you might also like to learn about the many health benefits of getting a weekly massage from our wellness section.
Thanks for the images “Time to find out what I’m made of #23andme” a flickr photo by TheNickster shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license.
23andMe Ancestry Painting is a Flickr photo by EricaJoy shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license.
23andme ancestry Flickr photo by justgrimes shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license.