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23andMe vs Helix DNA: What You Need To Know

Written by Samantha Odake, BS (Mechanical Engineering) | Last updated:

Are you having doubts choosing a DNA test? Read on to find out how 23andMe vs Helix DNA compare against each other, and what other options are available to you.

23andMe vs Helix: Overview

  • Neither 23andMe nor Helix allows raw DNA data upload.
  • 23andMe provides your raw DNA data free of charge, while Helix charges $499 for access.
  • Helix only offers a limited scope of health reports.
  • Neither company provides personalized health recommendations.
  • There have been some controversies regarding how 23andMe handles customer data.

About 23andMe and Helix DNA

23andMe is based in Sunnyvale, California. The company was founded in 2006 by Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey, and they claim to have sold over 12 million DNA kits worldwide. Read this comprehensive 23andMe review to learn more about their products and services.

HelixDNA was founded in 2015 by James Lu, Justin Kao, and Scott Burke, and is also located in California. The company has offered DNA testing in collaboration with Mayo Clinic in the past. Read this HelixDNA review for a detailed description of their products and services.

23andMe vs Helix DNA: How do they compare?

Here, we’ll discuss the main similarities and differences between 23andMe and Helix.

DNA test & Raw DNA data

23andMe offers a DNA test that analyzes over 600,000 SNPs, and they don’t allow you to upload a preexisting genetic file to their platform. You’ll be able to access your raw DNA data at any time for no additional cost. For more information on how to access your DNA file, you can read this post on how to log in to 23andMe.

HelixDNA offers a more expensive whole exome sequencing, which decodes all of the protein-coding regions in the genome. To get access to your raw DNA data, however, you will need to pay an additional $499 fee. Similar to 23andMe, Helix also doesn’t allow you to upload your DNA data to generate the reports.

Ancestry reports

Both Helix and 23andMe will provide you with ancestry reports. With HelixDNA, you’ll receive an ancestry breakdown in 26 regional groups, while 23andMe will give your ancestry composition across 2000+ regions.

Health reports

HelixDNA only offers two DNA reports for health of their own. The reports are fairly simple and not very comprehensive. The company only analyzes a single genetic variant for each trait, which means you might not receive the most accurate results. To get access to any of their reports, you’ll need to purchase their DNA test and report with InsideTracker. You can read this InsideTracker review to learn more about this company.

On the other hand, 23andMe offers over 10 DNA reports, and if you choose to purchase a membership, you’ll receive an additional 10 reports which include heart health, migraines, and others.

Unfortunately, neither Helix nor 23andMe offers any health recommendations to help you improve your overall well-being. These companies limit their analysis to telling you whether you’re more or less likely to have a certain condition or trait. If you’re looking for insights on how to optimize your health, you’ll need to find another alternative.

Prices

23andMe offers three options for you to choose from:

  • Ancestry + Traits: $99
  • Health + Ancestry: $199
  • 23andMe+ Membership: $169 + $29/year

23andMe vs Helix prices

The Helix DNA test with InsideTracker is $190. If you want to have access to your raw DNA file, you’ll need to pay an additional $499.

Privacy

When it comes to privacy and data security, 23andMe has had some controversies in the past. Notoriously, the company entered a partnership with the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop drugs using users’ genetic information.

Helix has had many partners in the past, so user data needed to be shared with other companies to provide the services, which inherently increases the risk. If you choose to stop sharing your information with Helix, you may still need to contact the partner companies, as Helix says that data already shared with a partner is governed by their policies.

Alternatives to 23andMe and Helix DNA

23andMe and Helix DNA may offer some interesting insights when it comes to ancestry. However, both services fall short when it comes to your health. Helix DNA has a limited number of reports, and if you want to have access to your raw data you’ll need to pay more than double the price of your original DNA test. Plus, the reports only look at a handful of genetic variants for each trait, which means you might not get the full picture.

Neither service will give you personalized recommendations to help you counteract the negative effects of your genes. So, if you want to have a gene-based approach to optimizing your health, SelfDecode could be a better option.

SelfDecode is the only company that uses AI in genomics to give genetic risk scores and personalized recommendations aimed at helping you improve your overall well-being, with over 40 DNA wellness reports available.

23andMe vs Helix DNA Comparison

 

SelfDecode

23andMe

Helix

Personalized & holistic health recommendations

Yes

No

No

Personalized genetics blog

Yes

No

No

Products

DNA testing, wellness reports, personalized health recommendations, lab test analyzer

DNA testing, traits, health, and ancestry reports

Whole exome sequencing, wellness reports, ancestry

Raw data upload

Yes

No

No

Raw data download

Yes

Yes

Yes, for $499

Cost

$97 – $387

$99 – $199

$169 + $29/year

$190

Conclusion

Helix and 23andMe may give you some information on your health and ancestry, but both services have their pros and cons. Helix offers whole exome sequencing for an affordable price, but you’ll need to pay more if you want to have access to your raw DNA data.

On the other hand, 23andMe allows you to access your genetic file for no additional cost and offers a fair number of health reports. Still, both companies are lacking when it comes to helping you offset your bad genes.

If you want actionable insights that can help you optimize your health, you should check out SelfDecode.

SelfDecode uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze up to 83 million genetic variants and gives you truly personalized recommendations based on your DNA. With SelfDecode, you’ll fully own your data, and it will never be shared with anyone.

Related

About the Author

Samantha Odake

Samantha Odake

BS (Mechanical Engineering)
Samantha is an engineer turned writer with a passion for helping people.

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