Living DNA Testing Kit Review

It’s a natural curiosity to wonder where you and your family came from. In the past, genealogy and family trees were the only ways to trace one’s ancestry. Not everyone has access to records that allow them to discover their roots as far back as they’d like. But in these modern times, science has provided an answer to that age-old question: who am I?

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    Living DNA is among many companies offering ancestry services through DNA testing. Several things set them apart from other leading DNA testing entities. Living DNA delves deeper into the genetic information they study. Not only can you find out which areas of the world your predecessors originated from, but you can also find out how your genes affect your health.

    Four options from Living DNA invite you to find out more about your heritage, wellbeing, and your DNA in general.

    Living DNA Packages Start From

    PackagePricing
    Full Ancestry Kit
    $89
    Wellbeing Kit
    $99
    Ancestry & wellbeing kit
    $119

    Living DNA Kits

    Pros and Cons

    Pros

    • Sample collection is simple and painless
    • Upgrades available to the basic starter kit
    • Wellbeing reports
    • DNA matching

    Cons

    • Results can take up to 8 weeks
    • Basic kit only compares to 8 general global regions

    Collecting Your DNA Sample

    Thorough instructions will come with your DNA sample collection kit. Each Living DNA kit comes with everything you need to collect a sample to send back to the Living DNA labs.

    Using a simple mouth swab technique, you can collect your own sample in the comfort of your home. The hardest part is no eating or drinking for an hour before you collect the sample.

    It takes just 60 seconds to collect a sample by rubbing a swab on the inside of your cheek. Once it’s secured in the container provided, you can mail it back to Living DNA in the pre-paid return bag.

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    How Fast Do Results Come Back?

    It will typically take 6-8 weeks before your results will be ready. Once you have put your sample in the mail, you can track its status and get updates. When your results are available, you can view them online - no waiting for paper reports to arrive in the mail.

    You can access your results any time after they are ready. If you no longer wish to have them stored on Living DNAs database, you can contact customer support to have all of your data removed from their systems.

    What Do Results Include?

    The results included in your report will depend on which kit you choose. There are four options available, from the basic starter kit to a full ancestry and wellbeing combination report.

    DNA Starter Kit

    • DNA Testing
    • Global Ancestry
    • DNA Matching
    • Nutrition Report
    • Fitness Insight

    The DNA starter kit offers a low-price taste of what the other kits offer. Your autosomal DNA will be analyzed and matched against the global database to find long-lost relatives. Your shared ancestral DNA is compared to eight broadly defined populations:

    • Europe
    • Native America
    • Near East
    • Central Asia
    • South Asia
    • East Asia
    • Africa
    • Oceania

    The nutrition and fitness reports tell you if you are predisposed to Vitamin D deficiency, and what types of exercise your body is most likely to respond well to.

    DNA Ancestry Kit

    • Recent Ancestry
    • Sub-regional Ancestry
    • DNA Today
    • Extended Ancestry
    • DNA Matching

    Aside from the DNA matching provided in the basic starter kit, the ancestry kit dives deeper into your heritage. Instead of comparing your autosomal DNA to the eight populations above, it will be compared against 80 global regions and 21 sub-regions in the British Isles.

    This kit includes the most advanced breakdown of European and African ancestry available on the market. You’ll get a much more specific look at where your ancestors came from. For the British Isles and a growing list of countries in Continental Europe and Africa you will see far more than just the country your ancestors came from - you’ll know which region in the country in which they originated.

    The extended ancestry refers to your direct maternal line ancestry and (for males) your direct paternal line ancestry. This is obtained by testing enough mitochondrial DNA and Y-DNA to determine your haplogroup(s). For each side you can view a migration map, a coverage map, and a fascinating description of your ancient ancestry.

    DNA Wellbeing Kit

    • Vitamin Response
    • Food Metabolism
    • Nutrition and Exercise Suggestions
    • Recovery

    If you’re more interested in how your DNA affects your health, this kit can give you a fascinating look at just that. Your report will provide you with a better understanding of how your genetic makeup connects with your overall well being.

    The results include how well your body absorbs specific vitamins, the genetic factors that determined things like your eye color, and what type of fitness your body is best suited for. It will also analyze which types of foods in your diet that you should consider increasing or decreasing.

    It is worth noting that the Wellbeing Kit does not provide any information on inherited diseases. So if you’re looking for genetic testing that calculates your risk of developing a particular disease, you should consider the 23andMe Health + Ancestry kit instead.

    Ancestry & Wellbeing Kit

    This kit offers a combination of the Ancestry Kit and Wellbeing Kit at a discounted price. Your intricate ancestry report is included with the wellbeing report as described above.

    How Does Living DNA Protect Privacy?

    Transparency comes first with Living DNA - there is no fine print or hidden terms when it comes to sharing your DNA with them. They only collect the data that is essential for providing accurate reports. Many extras included in the price of the kits are on an opt-in basis. Kits include instructions and access to customer support on how to utilize these services. But you can feel confident you have control over your individual involvement.

    Living DNA never sells your information to third parties. It will be stored in their database, but never broadcast to outside entities. You can choose to participate in anonymous research, but your DNA will not be shared until you provide explicit consent through Living DNA.

    Based in England, Living DNA is beyond the reach of U.S. courts that will occasionally attempt to subpoena DNA data from  U.S.-based companies.

    To maintain confidentiality, your kit will include a random barcode. This barcode is used for processing your samples, so your identity is unknown to people working in the lab.. You can rest easy knowing your personal information is always stored separately from your DNA sample.

    The data servers at Living DNA are regularly updated, maintained, and monitored closely. Cybersecurity is always taken seriously by Living DNA. If you would like your data deleted from the system, that option is available to you at any point.

    Matching DNA With Relatives

    DNA matching offered by Living DNA allows you to connect with relatives from around the globe. This is an opt-in service offered and will require you to log in and change your preferences once you have purchased a kit.

    Your DNA will be compared with other Living DNA customers who have opted into this program. Once you receive a match, you both will see how closely related you are based on the amount of DNA you share.

    The matching portal includes a messaging system, so you can even say hi or strike up a conversation with that third cousin twice removed.

    For your safety and privacy, you always have the option of blocking certain users, which you would rather not contact you.

    NOTE: Relative matching is a new feature. In the short term you should expect to see far fewer matches than you would with AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, or Family Finder from Family Tree DNA. Over time, we expect the volume to increase.

    Living DNA’s Prices and Details

    Your DNA Starter Kit

    The basic starter kit offered by Living DNA is one of the most competitively priced packages on the market at $49. Other companies can cost you twice as much.Includes global ancestry, nutrition report, and insights into your fitness

    • DNA matching to potential relatives
    • Covers eight continental regions

    If your curiosity is focused on basic genetics and ancestry, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better alternative. The others on the market simply can’t compete with the price of this kit.

    Your DNA Ancestry Kit

    The next kit up from the starter pack includes your recent ancestry, sub-regional and extended ancestry, and the new service of DNA matching, so that you can find your long lost relatives. All this costs a little more than the starter pack but is still good value at $99..

    • Looks back at your direct paternal and maternal ancestry up to 80,000 years in the past
    • Detailed view of recent ancestry from the last 500 years
    • Sub-regional breakdown and optional additional insights

    This is a fantastic test for those interested in their family ties and history. It gives you bags of knowledge about the makeup of your DNA.

    You DNA Wellbeing Kit

    The wellbeing reports are also a good value. It focuses on your DNA and how that could impact health and nutrition needs. This DNA kit for health is entirely focused on fitness and even gives you tips for what to eat and how to exercise. It sets itself apart from the other options offered by similar companies and is priced at $129. 

    • Explanation of vitamin response and food metabolism
    • Exercise and recovery ideas and nutritional advice
    • Professional exercise regimes based on your genetic makeup

    This pack is an ideal choice for those with a family history of health concerns or problems they suspect are related to their genetic makeup. You can answer questions about your medical situation like never before.

    Your DNA Ancestry & Wellbeing Kit

    The top of the range option gives you all of the above and more. This combo is one of the best you can get no matter which company you choose, and will set you back $179.

    • Everything from the above packages is included
    • DNA matching and your DNA today
    • Understand the full depths of your ancestry and health

    Whether you use the ancestry kit solo or as part of the combo, it offers one of the most detailed and sophisticated ancestry reports available - well worth the money spent. This option is for those most serious about their history and health.

    Extra Details

    There is a shipping fee for receiving the kit, and costs are based on where you are located in the world. You can choose standard shipping, or pay a little extra for expedited. But returning the sample is free of cost.

    Want to learn more before you buy? Living DNA invites you to join a free 7-day email course that teaches all about DNA. Better yet, it can help you understand which kit is the right one for you.

    Summary

    In the sea of DNA and ancestry services, Living DNA is rapidly becoming a powerful competitor. Their simple, user-friendly methods allow anyone to access information on their DNA and ancestry. And the robust security methods employed at Living DNA ensure your privacy and the safety of all data you provide.

    From your recent DNA to your nutrition, Living DNA gives you a closer look than ever at how your genes make you who you are. If you’ve ever wondered how your DNA affects your day-to-day life, Living DNA can answer questions that were previously a mystery.

    Their intricate database can narrow down your origins more specifically than any other DNA service. Their online services can connect relatives from every corner of the planet - provided they’ve bought a kit and opted into the service. As far as prices, they offer as much and sometimes more than the leading competition.

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