DNA is something that has become commonplace in modern society. It is referred to daily, and a central part of all of our lives.
We all have DNA, and all of our DNA is completely unique to us, however, it can help provide information about our history, and even help us reconnect with old relatives.
It is because of this that home DNA kits have become so popular in recent years. There are a huge number of companies that allow you to complete a DNA test kit to find out lots of unknown history about your life.
From ethnicity estimates to health and wellbeing reports, there is so much that scientists can discover about us from our DNA.
With that in mind, today we’re looking at one of the leading companies in this field: 23andMe.
We’ll take a look at the different products that 23andMe offer, and compare them with some of their major competitors on the market to help you identify which DNA testing kit is the best for you.
As we’ve already mentioned, 23andMe is one of the leading companies for genetic testing and insight on the market.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will likely have heard of this company as they have risen in popularity over recent years. From features in Buzzfeed shows to aggressive advertising campaigns, 23andMe is everywhere, but what exactly do they do?
While 23andMe is traditionally a company, like Ancestry, that offers information into your family history and provides an ethnicity estimate, they have become more known recently for their health and well-being tests. 23andMe was one of the first companies to offer home DNA Testing Kits in the capacity of providing information about your health.
Traditionally, you would only be able to find out if you had genetic predispositions to certain health defects or conditions through testing with a doctor.
However, 23andMe was ground-breaking in making these tests more easily accessible. Based on a simple DNA test, this company can provide you with a wide range of information about your health based on similarities in your DNA to others with these conditions.
In a world where the majority of people are health-conscious, and pretty much everybody is curious, this test has become incredibly popular.
Thanks to its health and wellbeing test, 23andMe has become a household name, and it has even become popular to give one of these tests to loved ones for Birthdays, and even as a Christmas present.
With a health and wellbeing test, combined with an ethnicity estimate, it is clear to see why 23andMe has become so popular. But it is not the only company that offers these tests, so let’s take a look at the other DNA testing options you have if 23andMe is not your cup of tea.
Aside from 23andMe, MyHeritage is one of the most popular companies when it comes to DNA testing. The company was first founded in Gilad Japhet’s garage back in 2003, and since then it has grown massively.
The company launched its website in 2005, and since then their growth and technology have developed rapidly. MyHeritage now has over 60 million users, supports 42 different languages, and has been used to research over 52 million family trees.
It has a massive database of over 12.5 billion historical records and also has a large database of over 4.2 million DNA samples. Similarly to 23andMe, MyHeritage offers both ethnicity estimates, and health and wellbeing tests as part of their product range.
First, let’s take a look at MyHeritage’s Health and Wellbeing test. From your DNA, the company will compare it with a variety of different genetic risks as well as analyzing your carrier status for several other health conditions.
MyHeritage can analyze for 18 different genetic risks, including Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, and other health conditions such as celiac disease.
It also checks to see if you could be a carrier for conditions such as Gaucher disease, or nonsyndromic hearing loss to see if you could potentially pass these conditions onto your children.
Just as with the majority of other companies, MyHeritage has a database that is continually growing so you might see changes to your results over time as the company’s knowledge grows.
As well as this, MyHeritage also offers an ethnicity estimate and breakdown, allowing you to learn more about your own personal history through the analysis of your DNA. It is a well-rounded company and a great choice if you don’t want to use 23andMe.
Another excellent option and perhaps the most famous company for DNA testing and family history research is AncestryDNA.
Of all the companies that have offered DNA research, Ancestry is quite possibly one of the best known, perhaps because it was one of the first companies to successfully enter the DNA market.
AncestryDNA started out as a family heritage database, but since the release of their home DNA kit, this has just increased their popularity further.
However, the main difference between AncestryDNA and 23andMe is that AncestryDNA does not offer a health and wellbeing test. That being said, they have just introduced a new testing kit that can give insight into heritable traits and attributes which can give you more information about yourself.
Despite this, AncestryDNA’s main product is still their ethnicity estimate and biological match test. Ancestry offers its DNA kit at an affordable price, and also offers it in conjunction with their family tree subscription.
For many people who are researching their family tree, completing the DNA test can be a great way to grow your knowledge about your family.
AncestryDNA stores all of their DNA test results anonymously on their database, and when you submit your sample you can opt-in and out of being shown as a DNA match for potential relatives that have also completed the DNA test.
As well as providing connections to possible DNA matches, this test also provides you with an ethnicity estimate which makes it a very popular choice among children of immigrants, or those that know very little about their family history.
While it’s heritable traits test is still in its early stages, its comprehensive database for ethnicity estimates, and its rich history makes AncestryDNA an excellent alternative to 23andMe.
Finally, let’s talk about one of the lesser-known companies for DNA research, Orig3n. While AncestryDNA is most similar to 23andMe because of their ethnicity estimate and relative matching scheme, Orig3n is similar to 23andMe because of its health and wellbeing features.
Orig3n is a great alternative if you want a holistic overview of your health as it offers so many different tests, looking at genetics, health and wellbeing, and even behavioral analysis too.
Due to the vast amount of tests that this DNA kit includes, you might expect it to be costly to buy but it is actually one of the cheapest DNA kits on the market. As well as providing a variety of tests, Orig3n also provides you with detailed reports about your results.
Unlike other companies that just provide you a statistic of your chances of having these health conditions, Orig3n gives you a detailed report explaining your results and even provides a personalized program depending on your results.
If you are overweight, this might include suggestions of foods that you should avoid, and an analysis of how fast/show your metabolism is.
If you are looking to buy a 23andMe test purely for its health and wellbeing section, you might be better off buying the origin kit. Especially if you want a detailed analysis of your health and wellbeing.
While this test does not offer any insight into your ancestry or ethnicity, it does use state of the art technology to provide customized reports made personally for you.
While 23andMe is a great choice if you want to know about specific health conditions, Orig3n is definitely the better choice if you want to learn as much about your health as possible.
Which is the Best?
It is very difficult to determine which is the best DNA testing kit on the market, purely because every company offers something that makes their kit unique.
The simple fact is that the test that is best for you will depend on what you want out of it.
23andMe is a very popular test because it offers the best of both worlds. It has its health and wellbeing test which attracts those wanting to know more about their life in terms of healthiness, and also offers an ethnicity estimate for those wanting to learn about their history.
However, their main focus is on the health and wellbeing side, whereas AncestryDNA has also started offering both of these tests, but their main focus is on the ethnicity estimate and data matching.
Then you have MyHeritage, which is extremely similar to 23andMe in every sense. That is without adding Orig3n’s extremely detailed health test into the mix.
In short, you should think about which part of the test you value the most and buy a kit accordingly. If you care the most about the health test, you might choose to buy Orig3n instead of 23andMe.
Similarly, if you mainly care about the ethnicity estimate, you might choose to buy Ancestry. However, if you want the best of both worlds, 23andMe or MyHeritage are the perfect options.