Whether it’s to reveal underlying health issues or discover allergies and intolerances, DNA testing can be a really valuable tool. And with more and more companies offering at-home testing, it’s now possible to gain insight into our genes without the need to book a specialist appointment. If you’re keen to invest in your health, here are some of the best DNA tests available to buy now…
Best for Getting in Shape: FitnessGenes
With the potential to explore our genes in order to develop personally tailored training plans, it’s no surprise DNA testing is a growing trend in the fitness world. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, tone up or are merely curious about your workout routine, FitnessGenes will analyse your DNA and offer a bespoke plan that’s right for you. Believe it or not, your genes dictate whether you respond better to HIIT training, long-distance running or resistance training, whether you should be incorporating more rest days and how prone to injury you are.
And when it comes to nutrition, FitnessGenes comes up trumps, exploring lactose intolerance, sensitivity to alcohol, coffee, carbohydrates and saturated fats as well as whether you need more omega-3s, B vitamins, antioxidants or cruciferous vegetables.
HOW MUCH? From £129
Best For A Health MOT: 23andMe
Arguably one of the more revealing tests out there, 23andMe (the name is a reference to the 23 pairs of chromosomes that make up a strand of human DNA) tests for 100 different genetic conditions. Despite being banned in the US amid doubts over accuracy, it has since launched in the UK and was reintroduced Stateside last year following FDA approval.
Send 23andMe the required saliva sample and a few weeks later, you’ll be emailed your results, which will reveal your propensity to illness and disease including Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s; how your genetics may affect responses to certain medications; how likely you are to pass on genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anaemia as well as your genetic inclination towards traits such as baldness and lactose intolerance. The test will also reveal if you carry the BRCA1 gene, putting you at a potentially higher risk of breast cancer. How you choose to act on the results is up to you, but there’s no denying this is a deep look into your genetic make-up.
HOW MUCH? £149
Best for Expert Advice: iamYiam
For those looking for a more hands-on approach to health and wellness, look no further than iamYiam, whose DNA testing provides a bespoke wellness and nutrition plan as well as access to a pool of certified nutritionists, practitioners and therapists at special rates to enable you to reach your health goals. While the service insists a DNA test isn’t mandatory, it does help to fine-tune your plan and ensure higher success rates, putting you directly in touch with the relevant experts.
HOW MUCH? £387, additional appointments are extra.
Best for Discovering Family History: My Heritage
If you’re fascinated by genealogy, My Heritage's DNA offering is the one for you. Through a simple saliva swab, My Heritage’s experts will unveil your unique heritage and allow you to connect with family (including previously unknown family members) through their extensive, and ever-growing, network. With ample data, pie charts and maps, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore your geographical ancestry.
HOW MUCH? £69
Best For Bespoke Skincare: GENEU
DNA testing and a rigorous scientific underpinning make GENEU skincare far more than just another beauty fad. What makes the brand different is its mastermind, Christofer Toumazou, a Professor at Imperial College London with a background in electrical engineering and medical technology. Harnessing the power of DNA, GENEU focuses on two aspects – the level of antioxidants produced by the body and the rate at which the body breaks down collagen – to develop bespoke skincare. While the service doesn’t come cheap (an at-home DNA kit costs £89 and subsequent products, including moisturisers and serums, from £80), advocates say it has transformed their skin, making it worth every penny.
HOW MUCH? From £89