Trying home DNA tests
Advances in science and technology mean a home DNA test is now a simple and affordable option for many.
The process is incredibly simple – you provide a saliva or blood sample and fill out a short questionnaire. When you’re done, you put the kit in the mail and send away for analysis. It comes back with a detailed profile of your DNA.
Depending on the test, you can find out everything from ancestry to genetic predispositions for serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and more.
Interested in learning more? Here’s a few of the most popular Home DNA tests and services on the market today.
Thriva makes it simple to understand what’s going on inside your body. You pay £49 for a ‘baseline subscription’ – every three months they send you a new kit so you can monitor your health proactively. The test covers everything from liver function to cholesterol, iron levels and vitamin D. If you just want a one-off test, they also offer individual tests for general lifestyle factors, as well as specific concerns like checking thyroid and testosterone levels.
AncestryDNA helps you uncover a whole range of interesting information about yourself and your family history. You can uncover where your ancestors came from with a breakdown of ethnicity covering the last 500-1000 years. Once you’ve taken the test, it also uses the global network of AncestryDNA members to identify others who share your DNA. If you’re interested in genealogy, this test can be illuminating. The kit works with a saliva sample and costs £79.
23andMe is a general DNA profile that gives you lots of weird and wonderful information about who you are, as well as reports on over 70 health conditions and traits. You can find out if you’re a carrier for certain inherited conditions, if you’re predisposed to any genetic health risks, and find traits that explain everything from lactose intolerance to male pattern baldness. This is the most expensive test on the list, at £149, and like AncestryDNA, works with a saliva sample.
Do you think home DNA tests are useful? Would you be tempted to try one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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