23andMe is perhaps the most recognizable name in the home DNA testing industry. The company, named after pairs of chromosomes 23 in humans, essentially founded direct genetic testing to the consumer when the store opened about 12 years ago.

23andMe genetic testing serving clients in the US, Canada and the UK, among others. The company has a staggering 5 million users to date. Read our full review of 23andMe for more information about what exactly 23andMe is, what the company offers, how much it costs 23andMe and get our editorial opinion about them.

23andMe – Advantages and Disadvantages

If you do not want to read through our complete 2000 + word 23andme review all the way through, we invite you to read our simple pros and cons below:

Advantage

  • Industry veteran
  • Customers are general content
  • Very complete results
  • Very large database
  • More diverse options

Disadvantage

  • It was approved by the FDA for a period
  • It is not the cheapest
  • A little too versatile

Key Facts from 23andMe Review

Can be used forGenetic overview for health/fitness purposes, ancestry
DNA collectionSaliva sample
Number of SNPs tested630132.00
DNA sample stored?Yes
AvailabilityMost countries
Price$200 or equivalent
Platform matching for familyYes
Geographical analysis of ancestryYes
Special featuresAncestry analysis, Neanderthal % in ancestry
Number of users5000000.00
OwnershipPrivately held by various investors, particularly Anne Wojcicki, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., The Roche Venture Fund, Google Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates
Address899 W. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View, CA 94041
Website Addresswww.23andme.com and local websites: www.23andMe.ca and www.23andme.co.uk
Client reviews3,000+ available on bazaarvoice with 4/5 rating; Under 50 reviews on Yelp with rating of 1.5/5

Company Fund for 23andMe

23andMe is in a unique position in the kits test DNA direct to the customer, being the pioneer and being significantly bigger than their competitors. The company was founded in April 2006 and has been growing at an astonishing rate up to 500 users.

The company has raised about $ 500m in capital since its inception, including a $ 250m round, followed by a $ 300m consecutive round, and is projected to be valued at about $ 2.6 bn. The founders of 23andMe Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza and Anne Wojcicki are still very much involved in the company. Anne Wojcicki is the CEO and has been voted one of the 100 Best CEO of Glassdoor.

Genetic Testing 23andMe and the FDA

When 23andMe and other competitors started operating in the space of direct genetic testing for consumers, there was no regulation in this space. It was a very niche. The average person didn’t know and / or care much about the results of 23andMe. With the passage of time, as the kits DNA home were gaining popularity, the FDA began to show concerns about what Howe 23andMe was marketing its tests for disease risk. Therefore, the FDA issued 23andMe a closing notice, telling them to stop offering their breast cancer disease risk test because they were surpassing the potential results.

Eventually, 23andMe altered its marketing materials and was again approved to sell disease risk tests. However, you should keep in mind that the FDA only regulates how companies market these tests. The BRCA test, for example, only looks for 3 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that are normally only present in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. According to a recent study, the BRCA 23andMe test omits other potentially dangerous mutations in 94% of people taking the test.

Therefore, a negative result simply tells you that you do not have some specific mutations, not that you have a lower risk of getting breast cancer in general. Plus, a positive test doesn’t mean you’ll have absolutely breast cancer. Both results have resulted in negative health outcomes. For example, some women who receive positive test results have had unnecessary mastectomies, while those who receive negative results sometimes fail regular cancer screening. None of these is a reasonable reaction to the test results. This is an important distinction to understand, and the same is true for most disease risk analyses.

The Complete Review of 23andMe’s Offer

23andMe has only two offers, the Service of Ancestry and the Health Service, + Ancestry. The Ancestry Service only provides information on descent information, such as its geographical genomic profile. The ancestral and Health Service provides information on genes related to health and well-being. Details of each package are below:

Ancestry Service

The Service Ancestry includes 2 main features. The first feature is his reports of personalized ancestry. This test includes 5 reports detailing their general composition of ancestry, their maternal and paternal haplogroups, their Neanderthal ancestry and their DNA family. The first report is based on similarities found in his autosomal DNA with known genotypes. Their haplogroups maternal and paternal are measured through their Mtdna and ydna respectively. If it contains any trace of Neanderthal’S DNA, it will be found in the fourth report. The final report details which groups of people share DNA with.

The second main feature of Service of Ancestry is the Search engine of Related DNA. This fully optional service allows your DNA to fit the 23andMe database of millions of customers. Using this service, the company finds close and distant relatives. It even allows you to connect with these relatives, if they have also opted for the program. With the Ancesty service, you get access to your raw data that you can use with a variety of third-party companies.

The Service of Ancestry is usually $ 99, but is currently on sale for $ 69. This includes a lifetime subscription to the platform. In addition, if you later decide to get your health reports, you can buy this service later for an additional $ 125. Sometimes we offer 23andMe discount codes or coupons. Be sure to look for them from time to time.

Health + Ancestry Service

This service includes all detailed reports in the Ancestry Service (Above), as well as a wide variety of Health and Medical Genetics reports. There are 4 basic categories that the reports are divided into: reports of genetic risks to health, carrier status reports, traits reports and welfare reports.

Genetic health risk reports contain information about genes that have been shown to increase the risk of certain diseases. While having these genes may increase your risk of some diseases, the nature of SNP tests does not allow for a precise analysis of your overall risk of disease. That said, 23andMe offers some of the only FDA-approved tests to find these genetic variants. There are currently 5 of these reports available, with more on the way.

The carrier status report shows if your genetics have markers that indicate that you are carrying certain genetic diseases. These diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, are only triggered when a person has both copies of the disease-causing gene. Although you would know if you had one of these conditions, this report will tell you which genetic variants, if any, you can carry.

The trait report details the genes you carry that relate to certain traits you have, such as male pattern baldness and the ability to grow a unibrow. This report documents your genetics for more than 25 traits. Wellness reports include information about your general health-related genetics, such as sleep, weight, and food tips. These reports contain a variety of general healthy habits and adapt to your “genetic profile”.

The Health + Ancestry Service is typically $ 199, although it is currently on sale for $ 139. The service also allows you to access your raw data. Buying this package will save you around $ 50, if you purchased the ancestor Service first, then you wanted to access the status reports. 23andMe coupons and discount codes are sometimes available on our website. Be sure to check when you finish reading this 23andMe review.

What Separates 23andme From Other Companies in This Regard?

The wide variety of genetic tests offered by 23andMe is largely unparalleled by other testing companies. Through a 23andMe DNA test, you can receive tests on your genetic risk factors for health, your carrier status for certain diseases, and even feature reports and general wellness reports. 23andMe aims to be the reference service for direct genetic testing to the consumer, yet it is not yet available worldwide.

23andMe, partly owned by Google, provides one of the easiest platforms to use for understanding your genetic results. Through this online platform, it receives several reports on its genetics. If you purchase Ancestry’s results and the health package, you will also have access to ancestry information. The platform includes many tools, including one to connect with members of the genetic family and discover their geographical ancestry.

Although many genetic companies are descent-based, 23andMe can also review a significant number of medical and health-related traits. In their health package, they test a lot of genes related to the disease. DNA testing 23andMe are one of the only genetic tests that have the approval of FDA in some of the tests the company. While this does not increase the accuracy or predictive power of the tests, it does suggest that the company will not present false information to you or exaggerate the role of genetics in any disease.

Through its platform, it can observe its genetic risks to health, the carrier state of diseases such as cystic fibrosis and even traits that are known to be genetically determined. The results of 23andMe also provide a wellness report, which provides generalised advice based partly on your genetics.

Like other companies, a collection tube is sent to your home for your saliva. Spit in the tube, and send it back to the lab. Within your saliva will be enough cheek cells to analyze your DNA. The lab receives your sample, and it takes 6-8 weeks to process it and provide the results of test 23andMe.

When analyzing their DNA, 23andMe uses the technology that scans their DNA for single nucleotide polymorphisms or known SNPs. Checking hundreds of thousands of these SNPs, they match their genetics with known genotypes that match yours. This allows them to approach with great precision, their exact genome without having to read the whole thing. Although its entire genome is not sequenced (each nucleotide is not read), the genes it carries can be determined by the small matching pieces.

Depending on whether you selected the health and Ancestry package, or chose the Ancestry package alone, you will get access to these reports once the lab has processed your DNA sample. Simple login on the online platform and see your results.

What separates 23andMe from other companies in this regard?

How Does It Work, What Will Your 23andMe Kit Include?

Like other companies, a collection tube is sent to your home for your saliva. Spit in the tube, and send it back to the lab. Within your saliva will be enough cheek cells to analyze your DNA. The lab receives your sample and takes 6-8 weeks to process it and provide the results of the 23andMe test.

When analyzing their DNA, 23andMe uses the technology that scans their DNA for single nucleotide polymorphisms or known SNPs. Checking hundreds of thousands of these SNPs, they match their genetics with known genotypes that match yours. This allows them to approach with great precision, their exact genome without having to read the whole thing. Although its entire genome is not sequenced (each nucleotide is not read), the genes it carries can be determined by the small matching pieces.

Depending on whether you selected the health and Ancestry package, or chose the Ancestry package alone, you will get access to these reports once the lab has processed your DNA sample. Simple login on the online platform and see your results.

Reports of Risks to Genetic Health

You will find a series of reports on platform 23andMe. The first is reports of risks to Genetic Health, which explain which genes it carries that give it a higher risk of certain diseases. These genetic risks are based on the associations investigated between disease and genetics. While these reports may give you a small idea of what conditions are most likely to contract, they are by no means a diagnosis. Many of these associations increase their risk, but not by much.

Carrier Status Reports

In addition to verifying their genetic risks, the platform provides carrier status reports. A carrier is a person carrying 1 allele that causes the disease. However, because there are 2 alleles for each gene, a carrier also has a regular and functional allele. This allows them to live free of disease, but they still carry the deficient allele and have the opportunity to pass it on to their children. There are many recessive disorders for which it can be carrier. 23andMe tests for many of these. This report can give you a hand-in-hand about what conditions you can bring, and help you plan a family.

Risk Reports Polygenic

23andMe recently started offering polygenic risk reports as part of its service and we wrote about it in length.

Trait Reports

Your traits reports will include information about your genetics that influences certain traits you have. Some of these traits may seem irrelevant, but they are associations that have been investigated. Many of these traits are also controlled by a single gene, such as the ability to test bitter chemicals in broccoli and asparagus. Although you probably already know if you have the gene, this report can tell you which of your genes help control certain traits. This is a separate report because the information is usually not medical in any way.

Wellness Reports

The set of reports you can access are welfare reports, which will provide you with information on how your unique genetics may be affecting your overall well-being. These include topics such as sleep, weight, and muscle composition. These reports tell you how your genetics can affect these highly variable categories, although your genetics play only a small role. For example, your body may have a genetic propensity to store fat, but it will only get fat if you eat too much and never exercise. These reports end with generic recommendations for better health “based on your genetics”. These include things like having a good diet and exercising regularly.

Will Your Data be Shared?

23andMe has a whole page dedicated to your privacy policies, and what you’re going to do with your genetic data. The company sells and distributes aggregated data. First, they remove the data from the personal identification information and then accumulate it. The aggregate data for 23andMe are sold and investigated.

Will your data be shared?

Your personal data is supposedly under your control, and the company offers many different services than you may choose not to participate if you do not wish to share any data. Some of these features include finding family members on the platform, which requires you to share information if you decide to contact a relative. You can use most of the functions of the platform without sharing your personal information. The platform also allows you to choose not to store your data, if you wish.

Media Coverage and User Opinions

23andMe has expanded dramatically in recent years, as has its media coverage. Articles about the company are published weekly, if not daily when there is big news. As one of the first companies to receive FDA approval for a direct genetic test to the consumer (shortly after receiving an FDA warning), the company is no stranger to headlines. Here are some of the most interesting articles about 23andMe in the mainstream media:

  • Forbes – How to grow and scale a culture like 23andMe
  • Inc Magazine – 23andMe knows what diseases are in your DNA. Now, they are looking for cures
  • Business Insider – DNA testing companies like 23andMe are selling their data
  • Science News – what genetic tests of 23andMe, Veritas and Genos really told me about my health
  • Futurism – 23ANDME IS teaming up with A COMPANY PHARMA. DON’T BE SURPRISED

User acceptance:

According to their own website, their customers are satisfied with 4 out of 5 stars. Most customers give them 5 stars, with a smaller percentage distributed among all other star levels. On Amazon, with more than 1,000 reviews of 23andMe, 23andMe has a 3.8 / 5 star rating (true for December 9, 2018). The home delivery service is one of the great advantages of this place. Users who are happy with 23andMe have mentioned the following strengths:

  1. High level of security and data protection
  2. Easy to register and test
  3. The best ethnic analysis (more accurate than other companies))
  4. Relative identification tests are available, unlike other companies
  5. Promethease’s medical analysis is really exceptional and provides a lot of information
  6. The test can, in fact, help you solve family mysteries.
  7. Comfortable prices at $ 99
  8. Very understandable and diverse results
  9. It provides useful and practical medical advice (preventive measures, mainly)

Customers who gave 23andMe a low rating discussed the following aspects of the business:

  1. Sometimes the collection tube does not produce any DNA results and the test must be repeated. If you failed twice, you will no longer be able to use the service.
  2. Sometimes there are long waiting times with little response on your behalf about the source of delay
  3. Sometimes they ask for additional fees in addition to what they paid (it is not clear in which scenario, it is not indicated)
  4. Customer service can be slow and useless
  5. Indications of genetic mutation are not accurate 100% of the time
  6. Some packages / kits are not clear in terms of what they contain

There are also some 23andMe reviews on TrustPilot and Yelp, but it is not worth going into because they are only several dozen reviews compared to 1,000 on Amazon.

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