When it comes to your health, it’s understandable to want to know as much as possible about what makes you tick. Genetic health testing can give you an unparalleled look into your ancestry, health, and genetic traits. If you’ve been considering getting a DNA test for your health, there are a few things you’ll want to know. Below, we will go over how health DNA testing works, what it can offer you, and what companies offer to the users who utilize their DNA health testing services. This way, you’ll be able to confidently choose a DNA health test of your own.
How DNA Testing Works
Throughout the last decade, DNA testing has become easier to access and understand. Just about anyone can now have a direct to home DNA test sent to their front door. These home DNA tests are relatively inexpensive and offer individuals an in-depth look at their ancestry, genetic makeup, and other fascinating information.
To use a DNA kit, you simply provide the DNA testing company of your choosing with a saliva sample. This sample will be examined in a laboratory where it will be broken down into a string of letters called the ACGT code. Through complex and intuitive algorithms, your unique DNA code will be compared to other DNA samples, unlocking a wealth of genetic information.
Health DNA Testing
Health DNA analysis takes standard DNA testing up to the next level. Not only will you be able to uncover fascinating information about your genetic code, but you’ll also be able to see exactly how it impacts you in your everyday life. Health DNA results offer you a more comprehensive look at your own physical and biological interworkings.
Through health DNA analysis, researchers will identify specific genetic markers and DNA traits within your genome. This allows you to discover whether you are genetically predisposed to certain diseases, learn more about your genetic traits, find out if you are a carrier for certain genes, and more.
What Can be Learned by DNA Health Testing
While every company offers different health testing services, most health DNA test kits will give you insight into your overall health and wellness, genetic traits, carrier status, and predisposition to genetic ailments.
• Wellness Report
A wellness report can tell you about things that impact your life in an everyday sense. You’ll be able to learn things like what your alcohol flush reaction is, how your body processes caffeine, how deeply you sleep, what your muscle composition is, and whether you are intolerant to lactose. Here’s an overview of what one popular wellness report from 23andMe offers:
• Alcohol Flush Reaction – how your body reacts to alcohol. See more here.
• Caffeine Consumption – how caffeine impacts you. See more here.
• Deep Sleep – how deeply you sleep. See more here.
• Genetic Weight – how your genetic makeup impacts your weight. See more here.
• Lactose Intolerance – intolerance to lactose. See more here.
• Muscle Composition – what your physical makeup is like muscularly. See more here.
• Saturated Fat and Weight – how saturated fat impacts your weight. See more here.
• Sleep Movement – how much you are likely to move in your sleep. See more here.
Here is a real example of what these health reports look like from the 23andMe company.
Other health reports can also tell you about:
• Maximum Strength – how strong you may be or become.
• Endurance – how long you can maintain physical activity.
• Oxygen Flow – your blood oxygen saturation likelihood.
• Recovery Speed – how quickly you heal.
• Tendon Durability – how strong your tendons are.
• Trainability – how quickly you may improve.
• Blood Vessel Response – vascular reactivity to stimulus.
• Vitamin Retention – Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Vitamin, C Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, Omega-3.
• Traits Report
A genetic trait report can tell you which traits you may have inherited from your parents based on your DNA. There are specific markers in your DNA that can be associated with exact physical traits. Geneticists in a lab will analyze these markers and use them to tell you what your genetic code says about each of your traits. This information is sometimes estimated, but in many cases, it’s right on the money. Below are some traits you may discover as listed in the AncestryDNA traits report:
• Eye Color
• Iris Pattern
• Hair Color
• Hair Curl
• Earlobe Shape
• Male Hair Loss
• Skin Pigmentation
• Asparagus Metabolite Detection
• Bitter Taste Perception
• Hair Strand Thickness
• Earwax Type
• Cilantro Aversion
• Sweet Taste Perception
• Savory Taste Perception
• Cleft Chin
• Finger Length
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E
• Birth Weight
• Photic Sneeze Reflex
• Wisdom Teeth
• Facial Hair Thickness
Other similar traits reports can give you information about your:
• Ability to Match Musical Pitch
• Asparagus Odor Detection
• Back Hair (available for men only)
• Bald Spot (available for men only)
• Bitter Taste
• Cheek Dimples
• Cilantro Taste Aversion
• Cleft Chin
• Earlobe Type
• Early Hair Loss (available for men only)
• Earwa1 Type
• Eye Color
• Fear of Heights
• Fear of Public Speaking
• Finger Length Ratio
• Flat Feet
• Hair Photobleaching (hair lightening from the sun)
• Hair Te1ture
• Hair Thickness
• Ice Cream Flavor Preference
• Light or Dark Hair
• Misophonia (hatred of the sound of chewing)
• Mosquito Bite Frequency
• Motion Sickness
• Newborn Hair
• Photic Sneeze Refle1ex
• Red Hair
• Skin Pigmentation
• Stretch Marks
• Sweet vs. Salty Taste Perception
• Toe Length Ratio
• Wake-Up Time
• Widow’s Peak
• Carrier Status Report
Many health DNA and ancestry reports will also come with information on your carrier statues. This is a report which tells you about certain variants that may not directly impact your health but can affect the health of any children you have or may have. Carriers of genes carry a variant of a condition that’s genetically passed on. In many cases, carriers will not themselves have the genetic condition but may pass a condition on unknowingly. Knowing this information can help you plan accordingly for your family or future family. A few conditions that people commonly carry and pass on to their children unknowingly include:
• Beta Thalassemia and Related Hemoglobinopathies
• Bloom Syndrome
• Canavan Disease
• Ata1ia-telangiectasia Syndrome
• Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation Type 1a (PMM2-CDG)
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I
• MCAD Deficiency
• Maple Syrup Urine Disease Type 1B
• Mucolipidosis Type IV
• Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CLN5-Related)
• Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (PPT1-Related)
• Phenylketonuria and Related Disorders
• Primary Hypero1aluria Type 2
• Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata Type 1
• Salla Disease
• Sickle Cell Anemia
• Sjögren-Larsson Syndrome and more.
The 23andMe company offers the most carrier reports and is the only Health DNA testing company to expansively specialize in reports of this kind. To learn more about these carrier reports, the conditions they may identify, and how health DNA testing may help you identify what conditions you may carry, click any of the following links.
• Health Predisposition Report
Health predisposition reports allow you to identify genetic variants that are associated with increased health risks of developing some types of health conditions. These reports analyze specific variations in your genome. These variations are referred to as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). Two common health predispositions that can be identified by testing of this kind are Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Other conditions that may be identified include:
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Age-Related Macular Degeneration
• Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
• Genetic risk for lung and liver disease
• Celiac Disease
• Familial Hypercholesterolemia
• G6PD Deficiency
• Hereditary Amyloidosis (TTR-Related)
• Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HFE‑Related)
• Hereditary Thrombophilia
• MUTYH-Associated Polyposis and more.
Again, 23andMe is the best option for DNA reports of this nature. To learn more, follow this link to a page on their site that discusses these reports.
Best DNA Test for Health
Now that you understand a bit more about what health DNA testing can offer you, let’s take a look at the top DNA testing companies that offer health reports, traits reports, or other similar health-related genetic reports.
The best DNA testing company for health reports, 23andMe was originally founded to provide comprehensive and accurate DNA testing on individuals looking to learn more about their genetic composition. 23andMe is number one on this list of best health DNA testing options for because they are accurate, offer multiple health reports, and were founded on principles that prioritize health and wellness. They are also the only company that boasts FDA approved testing for health. Check my 23andMe review.
Health DNA Testing Services Available Through 23andMe
• Health Predisposition Reports (10+)
• Wellness Reports (5+)
• Carrier Status Reports (40+)
• Traits Reports (25+)
Other Services Offered by 23andMe
• Ancestry Reports
• Family Tree
• DNA Relative Finder
• Chromosome Browser and More
• Maternal and Paternal Ancestors
See more here.
AncestryDNA is second in line (close behind 23andMe) because they also offer services tailored explicitly toward health and wellness. While this company wasn’t initially founded for health-related DNA testing, they now offer useful health testing services through their AncestryHealth feature. AncestryHealth lets you access everything from AncestryDNA®, plus information on your genetics-based on health conditions. They also offer access to tools and resources designed to help you plan with a healthcare provider—from based on any information you learn. Check the in-depth AncestryDNA review.
Health DNA Testing Services
• Health and Wellness Reports
• Guidance and Resources
• Family Health Tools
• Origins and Ethnicity Tests
• DNA Matches
• AncestryDNA Services
• Family History
• Migration Patterns
To see everything offered by AncestryHealth, click here.
3. MyHeritage DNA Analysis
MyHeritage has helped millions of people learn about their ethnic origins and locate DNA relatives through their large DNA database. They now offer certain health testing services, though they are not as in-depth as the health tests offered by 23andMe or Ancestry Health. They also do not offer the same traits reports available through AncestryDNA. However, this company has been in operation for 17 years and is comparatively the least expensive option for certain kinds of health trait testing. Here is the MyHeritage review.
Health DNA Testing Services
• Genetic Health Risk and Carrier Status Reports (36 +)
• Polygenic risk reports – for conditions such as heart disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes
• Risk reports for 15 variants on the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes
• Ethnicity Estimation
• Family Identification Tree Services
• Research Tools
For more on MyHeritage Health, click here.
LivingDNA is another company that offers DNA health testing. They offer Wellbeing reports with insights on things like your vitamin D levels and muscle strength. They also have a second health report option that can give you reports on things like your flexibility, lactose sensitivity, and vitamin response.
Health DNA Testing Services
• Wellbeing Reports
• Raw Genetic Data Download
• Ancestry DNA testing
• y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA test
To see more from LivingDNA, click here.
Wrapping Things Up
So there you have it! Now you know what you can learn from using a DNA health service and how this information may apply to you as an individual. As far as companies who offer DNA health services, 23andMe and AncestryDNA are the most comprehensive health testing service currently available. However, if you’re looking for a simpler DNA health report or just want to save on costs, there are some other good options available as well. Remember, your health needs are unique; we recommend choosing a health DNA testing service that suits you as an individual.