Vitagene Review: Are genes the source of vitality?

There are virtually no limits to genomics technologies. Everything we are depends directly on a sequence of nucleotides, seemingly simple and tiny, but whose complexity underpins all known life on earth. Vitagene is one of the companies challenging this mystery of life, deciphering the hidden intricacies of these strands, which are as common as they are unknown.

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3.08 /5
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Table of Contents

    Written by Juan Rivas Santisteban

    Updated: 09/22/2021

    Vitagene Basic Facts: 

    • Company Name: Vitagene
    • Foundation Year: 2014
    • Location: San Francisco, California
    • Monthly Visits: unknown
    • Number of Databases: unknown
    • Website: https://vitagene.com

    What services/products are included in Vitagene Test?- Rated: 4/5

    A good way to categorise your services. However, there is a mismatch between tests: some give more information than others.

    • Diet Report 

    It focuses on the behaviour of your genome with respect to the metabolism of the main macronutrients: proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. However, these tests do not take into account the metabolic repertoire of the gut microbiome.

    Vitagene DNA report example.

    • Skin Report 

    The report shows the genetic risk of the most common skin conditions and provides recommendations on diet, supplements and skin care for optimal skin health. Conditions included: acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, dry skin, photoageing, rosacea, drooping eyelids, tanning, freckles and youth.

    • Supplement Report 

    This report reveals your genetic risk for nutritional deficiencies and provides personalised recommendations to improve your nutritional health.

    • Fitness Report 

    This service will delight those who are passionate about sport. You will see how certain regions of your genome indicate a preference for certain exercises or what sporting ability you have. This, however, does not take into account epigenetics and gene silencing.

    • Ancestry Report

    This service is an addition to check the relationship with ancestors, although it is not as good quality as that of its more powerful competitors. However, it is practical and well integrated with the other reports.

    Availability of Diverse Collection Methods (swab, blood ...) Rated: 2.5/5

    There is only one type of method by which the customer can carry out his sample collection, which is the standard in this type of testing. However, you can add your genomic data extracted from another platform, which is an added value. Unfortunately it is a test that is only available in the states.

    Vitagene DNA Customer Support - Rated: 4/5

    Vitagene has conventional customer support, but adapted to the needs of the product. They haven't implemented things like live chat, but you have a phone number and a section dedicated to questions about the results which is very useful.

    https://myvitagene.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

    Vitagene Kits cost/price- Rated: 4/5

    Better products than the market average, with quality guarantees and focused on your target. However, prices can be adjusted further.

    Major Vitagene offers.

    Health + Ancestry Report

    • Includes all reports except skin. Does not include free updates.

    99$

    Premium Report

    • Includes all reports
    • Free updates to keep your data up to date 

    139$

    Vitality Bundle

    • Includes all reports except skin.
    • Free updates to keep your data up to date 
    • Includes a Personalized Supplement Package

    249$

    Vitagene Database size- Rated: 2.5/5

    There is no information on the website about the size of the Database Vitagene works with. This may well be either because they work with borrowed databases or because their number is not as overwhelming as that of their competitors. However, it does not mean that they are of poor quality. We just don't know. 

    Vitagene Free trial- Rated: 0/5

    Vitagene does not currently offer free testing services.

    Vitagene Expected turn-around- Rated: 3/5

    While the services they offer are interesting and attractive, as they are very well categorised, it is true that they return the results rather late compared to their competitors. We are talking about 6 to 8 weeks, so it can be a determining factor when choosing.

    Vitagene Accuracy- Rated: 2/5

    There is no information about the sequencing technology used by this company, so we can assume that they use a standard one that is close to 2% read error rate. The accuracy of the results will depend not only on the above, but also on the subsequent ability to curate the sequences, as well as the quality of the databases with which our DNA is confronted.  

    Vitagene does not comment on this either. While the lack of information is not of great concern, as it can be due to a variety of reasons, there are more transparent options on the technical treatment of the sequencing technology, which is one of the fundamental aspects of DNA testing accuracy.

    Vitagene Interface- Rated: 3.5/5

    The interface in which Vitagene presents its products gives the impression that it is not as well thought out as others in the sector. Perhaps this translates into overwhelming information, which does not connect well with a layperson. 

    In addition, the introduction of these five categories has a counterproductive effect when it comes to understanding the characteristics of your genome, as each part is not integrated. For example, you could be predisposed to a skin disease and Vitagene recommends you to do exercises that are abrasive to the epithelia, such as climbing. 

    An example of Vitagene’s output interface.

    Vitagene Privacy- Rated: 5/5

    Vitagene will treat your genetic data with the utmost professionalism and ethics. They have a good track record in this regard, with a policy of destroying biological samples after they have computerised the data. They then promise not to use your data without your permission or sell it to third parties, which is very important. 

    Keep in mind that this is a sensitive issue and that very valuable information about you could be compromised very quickly if you do not choose well to whom you give your data. 

    Vitagene Innovation- Rated: 2.5/5

    Not directly related to the scientific world, some journals in the field have criticised the links between nutrition and genetics that Vitagene claims to be able to elucidate. The truth is that this is known as nutrigenomics and it does have a scientific basis, but it is still too unknown a world to be able to say what supplements you should take, among other things that this company says very lightly. 

    Vitagene Rate and quality of updates- Rated: 4/5

    The number of updates is generally significant, averaging twice a year. This is a very positive thing to appreciate. The quality of these updates depends on the amount of information added to the databases, which will allow you to discern with greater resolution new unique features of your biological data. 

    However, some of these updates are not free for users who have purchased the cheapest package, so it is a system that is not very customer-focused, and rather a "freemium" system that centralises its model on personal economy. This aspect could be improved.

     Vitagene’s shop is easily found.

    Best Alternatives To Vitagene

    This alternative is more focused on getting to know the hidden intricacies of your DNA in relation to your ancestors. If you are simply interested in this option, here you will find one of the best economic bets on the market, with great experience behind it.

    If, on the other hand, you're more determined to delve deeper into the nutritional habits that are best suited to your genes, you might want to consider GenoPalate. This is a very experienced company that specialises in achieving interesting matches between your genetic characteristics and the most appropriate nutrition.

    This company is an interesting alternative because, rather than substitute or compete directly, it provides a depth of readings greater than the average and also has health and diet reports.

    Summary

    We took a closer look at one of the most popular options in the DNA testing industry. After the point-by-point evaluation, it is perhaps not one of the strongest alternatives we have found swarming in this niche. Although it is worth highlighting their versatility of services and the professionalism with which they carry them out, being maybe one of the tests with the widest range of possibilities.

    Pros and Cons

    Pros

    • The cost of the test is affordable
    • The return envelope is prepaid, so there is no charge to send the sample back
    • Receive a personalized list of what supplements are best for your body
    • Able to use data from external companies and generate a report
    • Breaks down your genetic ancestry into geographical regions of the world
    • Includes research citations that link to specific scientific studies

    Cons

    • Some of the information is generic and not specific
    • Test kits only available within the US, there‚Äôs no international shipping

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

    Does Vitagene test for specific genes related to genetic conditions?

    Yes, Vitagene tests for some individual genes that have been reported to be related to certain ailments. This is the case for the MTHFR gene, an important gene in the metabolism of the methyl group. There are many normal varieties of this gene, which is normal among healthy people, but certain variants are dangerous and can lead to dementia or cancer.

    Is there any chance that Vitagene will send me missing components in the kits?

    While this is a rare occurrence, there have been a few reported cases of forgetting the liquid in one of the vials where you should leave your biological samples. However, you can report this to the website and they will resend the components free of charge.

    Will the results I get from Vitagene help me to have more vibrancy?

    This is really going to depend on attitude. Vitagene is only able to indicate certain exercises, diets or suitable sleep routines. This is not to say that it is a sacred word that must be strictly adhered to, but it should not be disregarded either. Quality of life could be greatly improved with just a few changes.

    What is included in the Vitality Bundle? Is it worth it?

    While the price is much higher than the other two offers, and also does not include the skin report, you will receive a monthly package with supplements customised to your results.  This may be a good option if you value the practical aspects more than the theoretical and need a little help to keep up the pace.