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DNA test kits are a fun new thing to try — you can learn many things and mine saved me big!
DNA test kits.
Does it tell ancestry, paternity? Can you do it at home? Let’s talk about some reviews and find out if there is one near you.
You can find a DNA Test kit at many places anymore. I want to share my review of a couple of companies we have reviewed at home. I didn’t need it to show paternity, but it did show me a few other things.
I had wanted to do a DNA Test for a while. I always thought it might show why I was overweight or that I had a black grandmother way back that would show why my hair is so darn curly.
I find that there are two DNA testing companies that have been around long enough and do a great job. They are:
(I will review a few of the other ones later in this article)
I tried one with 23 and Me (Full Disclosure I was sent one as part of another package, but I did get it for free).
It looks a little bit more medical-y and I was excited to spit in the bottle.
Of course, I was a little bit nervous as well. I don’t REALLY want to know the day I’m going to die.
Anyway, let’s talk about the whole process.
Most of the kits seem to be fairly similar.
They send you a bottle with a little funnel. You spit into it until you fill it to the “line” and then you rip off the funnel, close the cap and send it on its way.
About two months later you get an email telling you the results are in.
With trepidation, I opened the email.
Here’s a few things I learned:
- I’m as white as they come. English, Irish and white. A tiny drop of other stuff, but basically white. Surprise. 🙂
- I should be a regular weight. Turns out my DNA is NOT stopping me from losing weight. #excusegone
- My hair should be straight. WHAT? Did anyone read the NAME of this blog. It’s called PULLING CURLS for a reason. Because I have CURLS. Weird, right?
- Very little other stuff.
Frankly, I was a little disappointed in what I learned from it. I wanted real medical-y stuff. I mean, that’s why I used 23 and Me — right? It was going to show me my medical future.
But it doesn’t, not much at all. It sounds like it’s pretty restricted to do so as the FDA doesn’t want them diagnosing people.
Of course, it “diagnosed” me with straight hair — so would I even trust it?
So, I started to noodle around on internet. I had heard mythical talk of places you could upload the raw data and THEY would spit out my future.
And I found some!
Promethease cost around $5. It has like 12 disclosures on the front page and the cost. However, in looking at a sample report it looks like it has a lot of good info in it! It takes info from 23 and Me, Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, and Genos — so a wide variety of options! For $5 it seems pretty decent!
Genomap is an app that will translate it for you. It looks to be pretty user friendly, but my phone is full of apps already and I didn’t REALLY want to carry around my DNA report with me. So I passed.
LiveWello is one that costs $19.95 and allows you future updates. The process of gene mapping is always advancing, so that is a nice bonus! This one looks the most comprehensive if you want to learn MORE about your genes.
But, I used CodeGen that allows you to have all the reports for free. I really liked it, I felt like I got pretty good data for all of it.
Here’s the best part of all of it (and how it ultimately saved me some cash!)
I had a mammogram that showed a possible something. It turned out to be calcifications and we went along our merry way — but in talking at my yearly GYN visit she mentioned I should maybe get tested for the BRACA gene, as my grandmother got breast cancer (at a very old age) and my other grandmother had ovarian cancer. It would help me know my risks.
And the cost was like $500 (up to the thousands).
Keep in mind that wasn’t going to be covered by our insurance (until we met our $10,000 deductible) so I just tucked that idea away.
Until I remembered I’d already DONE genetic testing.
So I uploaded my stuff to CodeGen where it showed I was positive for one of the BRCA’s (most people pronounce this BRA-KA). I can’t even remember which one, but the lesser of the two and I just felt good knowing.
And also knowing I could know that without having to pay $500 for one genome report.
You see, it seems like these big medical companies that run gene reports are wanting to keep all the cash. And have basically stopped the commercial DNA testing companies from selling gene reports.
It is true that you don’t have a genetic counselor and you need to understand that this is JUST your genes, not your future!
BUT, if you find a DNA test and then use it with one of the upload companies I talked about earlier you can STILL get that data. And not for $500.
Of course, I am also supposed to have straight hair, so no matter what Mr BRCA said — I knew that genes aren’t always translated into what they seem to be.
Genetic Testing During Pregnancy
I think it’s a great idea. It’s a time in your life that the more you know about your health, the better. A lot of couples get genetic testing done anyway to see what they are a carrier for — and this would give you a ton of results, instead of just that!
The Main DNA testing companies seem to be:
23 and Me: I liked this one, it seems to be the most expensive. It does give a bit more “diagnostic” information right off the bat. Also a lot more “fun” info like if you taste sweet or salty more, etc.
Ancestry.com: This one is clearly about your ANCESTRY but does allow you the raw genetic data that you can upload to one of the processes above. My husband used this one. He’s HUGE into family history, and he really enjoyed the reports!
Family Tree DNA: This one looks very genealogy-driven. Probably similar to Ancestry
My Heritage DNA: This one seems somewhat creepy. It will tie you with other My Heritage users, even giving you their employer and address. (?) Frankly, that makes me a little nervous….
But, for me — I still like 23 and Me. It gives you the most data easily on their side. They do keep updating their gene testing and they’ll send me results to look at. I like that. I’m not so much into it for finding my family history (although I do have more neandertal in me than the average human — so take that for what it’s worth).
If you’re wanting more of your ancestry I’d go with Ancestry.com — they do TONS of DNA testing and I think there is value in them doing more and more than the little guys.
Pricing is VERY similar between all the ancestry ones — 23 and me is a bit more — so if you’re mostly looking to save some cash just go with one that gives you your full raw genome that you can upload to another service.
Anyway, I liked doing them, they’re often on sale. I’d recommend doing it. It makes a fun gift!
Have any of you guys done it? What company did you use? Tell me in the comments!
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