What At-Home DNA Test Should I Take?

We all carry within us the potential to unravel our own histories; across thousands of years and countless locations around the globe, our ancestors have lived, worked, and persisted in order to continue the lines we currently walk. As such, tracing our family trees holds untold benefits. While some, for instance, are merely interested in learning more about their roots, others look to history for more definitive answers about heritable health conditions, or their own cultural identity.  

Finding the right kit is, in many ways, subjective; it will depend upon your unique history – whether you require a broad search of your heritage, or a more focussed analysis of, say, your African or Native American ancestry – and the reasons for your search. 

Consider the following questions before purchasing yours.

Who is the Test For?

In order to find the most accurate and informative results, it is important that you choose a test optimised for your unique genetic makeup. Some tests, for instance, use Y-DNA analysis, which uses the Y-Chromosome inherent in male genes for tracing paternal (male) line. As such, the test will not provide any results for female participants, but mtDNA and autosomal testing will provide results for men and women. 

Similarly, there are tests better suited to those investigating specific ethnic groups. This signals a valuable step forward in the world of DNA research, where the limitations of earlier tests are being replaced by more wide-ranging data collection. Ancestry DNA and MyHeritage, for instance, are both able to offer tests that descendants of African, Jewish, Asian, and Native American lines – even in cases of forced displacement – to learn a great deal about their genetic makeup, and the history of their ancestors. 

There are excellent, comparative resources that will help you to find the best DNA testing kit to suit your unique search, interests, and history. 

What Would You Like to Find Out?

There are tests to suit every enquiry, whether it’s a deep search into your more recently family history, or a look into potential genetic markers in order to ascertain your vulnerability to certain illnesses. 

Many people turn to DNA tests to find out more about their own family, and, in some cases, to connect with living relatives. For this, a test that looks at the autosomal chromosomes can provide a wealth of information, as they search through both the maternal and paternal lineages. These tests will also be capable of searching further into your ethnic and geographical history, offering you even greater insight into your identity. 

Even your dog’s history is traceable with the right DNA test, which can enable you to uncover genetic conditions, in addition to gaining insight into their nature, which can help you to find the right training

Others will turn to their genetic history with a view to understanding their predisposition toward certain health conditions or dietary requirements. For this, you will benefit from a test that specifically targets these genetic traits. 

Do You Require a Specialist Kit?

If an in-depth analysis of your genetics with a view to learning more about improving and protecting your health, then it is much better to opt for a test that specifically targets health testing. Although some of the more comprehensive tests do offer insight into the ways our genetics offer clues into our health, a test that seeks to uncover as much information as possible will certainly prove the most beneficial. 

Some of the best-known brands, such as MyHeritage, 23 And Me, and Ancestry DNA all offer kits that specifically target health markers in DNA sequences, as an alternative to their more wide-ranging tests. These kits will provide insight into any predisposition you may have towards 

Alternatively, tests like the Health and Ancestry Report from Vitagene will give you actionable advice on the best ways of improving your own, from your diet to exercise.

Final Thoughts

We are born with so much of our histories stored within our genes, and new data and technologies enable us to access this information in ways none of our ancestors could have imagined. Finding a test that seeks to uncover the secrets of your unique history can be a fantastic tool for self-discovery, and for connecting with distant relatives spread across the globe.

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