Genetics can be an incredible resourceful tool that tells you about your health and history. 23andMe is a DNA service that uses genetics to test your saliva for genetic risks and your ancestry.
23andMe offers two different DNA services for you to choose from. The first kit just test for ancestry and cost $99. The second kit test for ancestry, genetic risks, and wellness. This second kit cost $199 but you get twice the information for the price.
Why You should
If you are considering starting a family and you want to know if you are a carrier for particular diseases or other genetic risk than paying the $199 for the Health and Ancestry’s kit might be a wise option for you. It’s always good to know be prepared and have this knowledge. It is important to remember that 23andMe is not a medical diagnosis though. The Health and Ancestry kit can tell you if you are a carrier for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and hearing loss. It can also tell you if you have the genetic risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease, and Hereditary Thrombophilia.
Another positive of 23andMe is that if you just want to find out your ancestry genetically you can do that with the Ancestry kit. The Ancestry kit traces your linage to a group of individuals from over a 1,000 years ago.
Why You Shouldn’t
A huge downside to 23andMe is the price of the kit. Most people getting tested are getting their DNA tested for genetic risk and many more probably would if it wasn’t so expensive. Sadly after 23andMe had to change some of their policies and testing because of FDA guidelines their prices went up. But keep in mind that with a 23andMe coupon the DNA kits will be much cheaper.
Another concern associated with 23andMe is privacy. The information 23andMe collections from you through your accountant and your saliva is your credit card info, IP address, genetic, and phenotypic information. Once 23andMe has this information they store it in their system. This is a huge concern for some people. As is 23andMe’s research participation opportunities that they do with third parties using your saliva.
When you sign up for you accountant and you don’t feel comfortable with this you can chose not to participate in the research.
What are other parents saying?
Here are some stories so you can see how helpful 23andMe have been for families like Greg’s.
Greg and his wife noticed that one of their son’s avoided fruits and anything sweet. When they mentioned it to doctor’s they didn’t seem so concerned so Greg used 23andMe to get his saliva tested for anything that might explain why their son was having this reaction to anything sweet, Greg’s results showed that he was a carrier for Fructose Intolerance, a rare disorder where you don’t have the protein that breaks down fructose. After finding this out Greg had his son tested and discovered that it was what was wrong with him.
This is just one of many examples of how 23andMe have helped people discover something medical about their family and there are many stories about how people have found their families using 23andMe.
What’s the answer?
There are positive and negatives to 23andMe but as you can see they have helped out so many people. I guess it just depends how much you trust them to protect your privacy or how important your genetic results are.