Learning about your very own DNA is so intriguing - imagine what you can learn! And it’s so pertinent. It can guide your decisions in life, from whether to have children to what kind of lifestyle you should live in terms of food and exercise.
But, let’s be real. DNA testing can cost a lot of money. So it really pays to do your homework and check out a few reviews to learn which DNA test best suits your particular requirements and gives you the best value for your money. That’s why you should commend yourself for coming here and doing just that.
In this article, we will be looking at SelfDecode DNA testing. We will map out for you exactly what you get for your money.
But we’ll go beyond merely giving you a list of features, and we’ll provide you with our overall impression of the test, together with a quick rundown on what people are saying about Selfcode. We’ll also include a few paragraphs directly comparing Selfcode to its competition.
At the end of the article, we will wrap up with our conclusion. And if you prefer you can scroll straight down to see it, and then decide if you would like to read the article in its entirety.
SelfDecode DNA Testing - The Main Points
The main thing to note about SelfDecode is that it concentrates on health and well being rather than ancestry.
This means that whereas some DNA testing kits produce results on your ancestral origins, the Selfcode DNA testing focuses instead on health matters, and unfortunately won’t tell you about exactly where in the world your particular DNA originally came from.
However, there is a way around this. If you’ve got your heart set on getting both your ancestral information and your health DNA information, what you can do is first get a DNA test done with Ancestry or My Heritage DNA testing or similar, and then upload your DNA data into SelfDecode’s health software to bring up all your health data.
Anyway, back to SelfDecode itself. There’s a great little Symptoms and Conditions Analyzer, which allows you to find out what genes are responsible for the problems you’re experiencing. We’ll discuss this in more detail later.
And you get a DNA Wellness Report. This actually covers quite a lot of different things. From super important information, such as expected longevity, right the way through to the levels of various vitamins and minerals in your body.
This wellness report talks about sleep, cognitive function, mood, food sensitivity, and how well you cope with pain. To name just a few of the things covered. It also goes into some very specific genetic markers, stating whether they are present in your DNA and if so what effect this can have.
Then the Wellness Report goes a step further and includes a number of recommendations for you. In other words, you’re provided with some written suggestions as to what changes you can make in your lifestyle to improve your general health and well being.
We’ll be looking more into all this later, but first, let’s skip to the special features.
SelfDecode DNA Testing - Special Features
They also have a nice Personalized Genetics Blog which is only accessible by subscription.
The way this works is that every month a particular gene or genetic condition is talked about in the blog, and you are provided with information about it on the blog and are also simultaneously provided unique information about your particular susceptibility to this condition.
Back in 2020, SelfDecode stood out amongst many other DNA testing companies out there, by including in their remit a rundown of your likelihood of hospitalization and death if you were to catch the Covid 19 Coronavirus.
This would have been particularly useful to help users ascertain how much risk they were prepared to take in terms of getting out and socializing.
It also offered recommendations on how to decrease your risk, although any action to decrease your risk is pretty much the same for everybody and is not linked to genetics.
There were a few other DNA testing companies that were offering a Covid-19 risk assessment at the time, but it was by no means a universal offering.
What was really helpful with SelfDecode’s Covid-19 risk assessment though, is that they offered it for free, with no subscription required. This particularly appealed to many users who had completed a DNA test with another company and were able to upload their DNA data into SelfDecode’s system at a later date.
A newer special feature of SelfDecode is on the verge of being rolled out (unless by the time you read this, it’s rolled out already).
And it’s a good one too. If you have a particular health condition you are concerned about, you can be put in touch with a medical professional, who can talk you through it, and provide you with any required knowledge, and if possible, guidance and advice.
SelfDecode DNA Testing and Privacy
Now, this is a big deal. Most of the DNA testing companies out there don’t keep your DNA data private. Many of them supply your DNA data to 3rd parties and researchers.
But you don’t have to worry about that with SelfDecode. One of their main selling points is that they promise to never sell your DNA data. This is great news for people thinking about using their services. It’s almost a unique trait amongst DNA testing companies, with the strongest rivals, 23andMe unable to offer the same promise.
With SelfDecode, your DNA data starts, and forever remains, completely and utterly private. This is a major feature enjoyed by users who are (rightly perhaps) nervous about their DNA data being used for unknown and unagreed purposes. With SelfDecode, your DNA data is your own, and no-one else’s.
How much money do you pay
When it comes to fees, SelfDecode DNA testing runs a little differently to other DNA testing companies.
Most DNA testing companies generally ask for one up front payment, for the test itself and for the reports of your choice from the available selection.
But SelfDecode isn’t like that. It offers an annual subscription, which at the time of writing this article, comes to a little under $100 per annum.
Or, alternatively, you can buy yourself lifetime access, which comes in, at the time of writing this article, to a one off fee of just under $300. So, effectively, you get lifetime access for the price of just 3 years’ subscription.
What’s included in the annual subscription cost
So, let’s look at what’s included in the subscription. The annual subscription includes the uploading of one DNA file into their software, one Introductory Wellness Report and 5 DNA Wellness Reports of your choice per year.
AND you get unlimited access to the LabTestAnalyzer and the Personalized Genetics Blog that we mentioned earlier (see Special Features).
The subscription price does not however include the price of the DNA sampling itself. This is because that’s not what SelfDecode specializes in - they’re more about the testing and the software package.
That said, whichever option you decide to go for, you can always tag on the sampling kit and services, for a little extra money.
They attract a lot of custom from people who have had their DNA sampling, and/or ancestry testing done with other companies elsewhere, who then want to go on and make further use of their DNA file for personalized health reports and guidance.
Value for money for the annual subscription
With the sampling not actually included, it may well strike some people as being not worth the money.
However, if your focus was more on gaining knowledge and making the most of your physical health, rather than finding out about your ancestry or linking up with blood relatives, then you could well argue that the annual subscription actually offers pretty good value for money.
Especially if you had a handle on that already from doing another DNA test elsewhere.
With the annual subscription option, you are able to pay separately for additional reports, if you wanted more than the 5 you originally picked out, which is a nice extra.
Once subscribed, you’re not tied into a never ending contract, and you are free to cancel your subscription at any given time.
Why a subscription service?
You may well be wondering, why have a subscription service at all. Especially if you know that most DNA testing companies will provide you all your reports in one go.
Well, this is where SelfDecode has the most to offer. SelfDecode keeps up with all the modern advances in research and technology to produce the Personalized Genetics Blog we mentioned in the section on Special Features.
Your DNA data file is used to provide you with a personalized algorithm, and it’s via this special algorithm that Selfcode is able to provide you with a score against various traits and health conditions that come up every so often on the Personalized Genetics Blog.
So you get reports, of a sort, from the very cutting edge of science, from just one original DNA sample, all throughout your subscription period.
That’s not all though. There’s soon going to be a great little community platform, where subscribers can get in touch with people with the same or similar health conditions or symptoms.
We think it’s going to really take off. Because when you do have a relatively uncommon condition, it’s very reassuring to learn that you’re not the only one out there with the same problem. And better yet you can discuss and share a gamut of guidance, advice and tips for managing your health condition.
What people are saying about SelfDecode DNA testing
Now, let’s get to what you’re really looking for - what do people generally think of SelfDecode and what it has to offer.
There’s a lot of talk about SelfDecode on the net today. And we’re pleased to report that much of it is pretty positive, if not very positive.
I don’t know about you, but when I want to find out about what people think of a particular company, I head straight over to sites like Trustpilot, where anyone can submit an honest review about their own personal experiences of a product or service. Of course we look elsewhere a lot too.
The Trustpilot reviews all come from actual customers, often naming actual genetic markers they were looking for.
At the time of writing this article, there were circa 100 individual customer reviews written on Trustpilot, with a whopping 88% giving SelfDecode a rating of 5 stars out of a possible 5, describing it as not just great, but excellent.
This brings SelfDecode’s Trustpilot rating to very healthy (pun intended!) 4.6 stars.
We were also reassured to learn that when a SelfDecode customer leaves a negative rating or review on Trustpilot, SelfDecode are very quick to respond and help any customers with their respective issues.
To make the detailed results of Trustpilot and other reviews easier to read, we’re just going to summarise them, by splitting them into the following lists of Pros and Cons.
- The reports provide very pertinent information.
- The reports are actionable - you can work to improve on your health.
- You get really good insight into your health issues.
- It’s a good investment/priceless.
- The reports are voluminous and in depth.
- They don’t sell your DNA data! (That was a big plus for many.)
- The reports are easy to understand.
- The website often has bugs.
- You don’t get all the wellness reports with an annual subscription, just your chosen 5.
- No ancestry information is provided.
- No add-on for finding or getting in touch with blood relatives.
So as you can see, SelfDecode DNA testing really does have a lot going for it.
Of course, there’s no information provided on your ancestry, or any facilities for finding blood relatives. However we would argue that that isn’t the most important thing about DNA testing anyway, unless you were orphaned as a child.
Knowledge about any health conditions and genetic markers however, can make a huge, significant difference into how you run your life and your choices about whether to have children.
Besides, if the ancestry side of things is important to you, you can always do a DNA test with a separate company specialising in ancestry, and then arrange to upload your DNA file onto SelfDecode, for their frankly incomparable health and well being information and guidance.
Sure the annual subscription of just under $100 might seem a little steep when it doesn’t even include the actual sampling kit. But if you opt for the unlimited lifetime access subscription for just under $300, you really do get excellent value for money.
How SelfDecode compares with other DNA testing companies
OK, so here’s the real nitty gritty. If you’re looking into which DNA testing company/s you want to use, you’re going to want to look into how they compare and measure up. So let’s get straight to it.
For the purposes of this analysis, we’re going to concentrate on how SelfDecode compares to one of the more well known DNA testing companies, 23andMe.
Unlike SelfDecode, 23andMe can provide the user with information regarding their ancestry. But if you want the health information provided as well, you can expect to have to pay considerably more. And notably, more than the cost of one year’s subscription to SelfDecode.
Another way SelfDecode out shines 23andMe is how they use your data. SelfDecode promises to never sell your DNA data to any third parties. With 23andMe on the other hand, there’s a long and complicated privacy statement whereby you can consent to have your DNA data submitted for various DNA research projects.
And whereas the Health element of 23andMe DNA testing looks at 40 specific genes and 44 genetic diseases, SelfDecode in stark contrast, examines a whopping 150,000 individual SNPs, where 1 SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block.
So there’s a lot more information there to be getting on with. Enough, in our view, to justify a lifetime subscription.
Conclusion / Recommendation
We would argue that doing DNA testing the right way can provide you with knowledge about your health that can take away forever, and work with to help you live your best life.
Many people who look into DNA testing want the full package, which is fair enough. They want data on their ancestry, perhaps to meet biological relatives AND they want a breakdown on their genetic health.
SelfDecode however concentrates solely on the health side of things. So if you want to make the best of both worlds, our recommendation is that you do your DNA sampling and testing with a company specializing in ancestry first, and then follow that up with a lifetime subscription (budget allowing) to SelfDecode, to make the most of what they have to offer with their fantastic Wellbeing Reports and Personalized Genetics Blog.