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LifeDNA Review: Can a DNA Test Help You Be Healthier?

Written by Samantha Odake, BS | Last updated:

Overview

  1. Products: DNA testing, health and wellness reports.
  2. Cost: Reports from raw genetic data upload cost $99, but LifeDNA also offers an option that includes a DNA test for $199.
  3. Reports: Health and wellness reports.
  4. Raw data access: Yes.
  5. Privacy: LifeDNA claims not to sell or share personal information without consent.
  6. Alternatives: SelfDecode delivers personalized health, diet, and lifestyle recommendations through detailed reports.

Pros

  • LifeDNA allows users to upload preexisting raw DNA files.
  • Reports offer some health recommendations based on genetic results.
  • They offer continuous updates to their reports.

Cons

  • LifeDNA does not disclose much information about how they perform their DNA tests.
  • They do not provide scientific references in all of the reports.
  • The company does not offer a holistic approach to their health recommendations.
  • Only accepts raw data from a 23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, Living DNA, and FTDNA.

About LifeDNA

LifeDNA is a Hawaii-based personal genomics company founded in 2017 by CEO Cyril Mounkarzel, COO Jared Kushi, and Chairman Steve Markowitz. Their goal is to give people insights based on their DNA to help them live healthier lives.

The company bases their health reports on over 600 peer-reviewed scientific studies that show the connection between genetic variations and their health, diet, and supplement recommendations.

In 2020, they initiated a coronavirus study with the University of Hawaii to help understand why certain individuals suffer more severe outcomes from the disease.

Review of LifeDNA Products & Features

LifeDNA offers a DNA test and health and wellness reports. If the user has a preexisting raw genetic file from other testing companies, they can upload it to LifeDNA’s platform and get the reports for a lower price. The company offers 9 DNA reports that cover over 100 traits and conditions.

  • Nutrition analyzes 24 traits to help users discover which foods are better or worse for them based on their genetic results.
  • Fitness examines 22 traits to inform on the risk of injury, best exercises, and more.
  • Health & Wellness explains which of the 20 health traits analyzed have the most effect on the body.
  • Personality & Cognition offers information on intelligence, personality, and other traits.
  • Skincare helps with choosing the right skin treatments by investigating 14 traits.
  • Immunity & Vitamins tells users which vitamins, nutrients, and supplements they need based on the analysis of 34 traits.
  • Disease reports on potential risks to certain diseases.
  • COVID-19 explains how the body might respond to the virus. LifeDNA says this report is still under development and will become more detailed as research expands.
  • Carrier Report allows users to learn the potential risks for their children.

The company claims the reports offer information based on over 600 scientific studies. Additionally, they provide  updates to the reports whenever a new feature is available. Unfortunately, the company does not disclose the number of genetic variants analyzed or give many details regarding how they perform their analysis.

Reports are ready in 2 weeks if the user chooses to purchase a DNA test from LifeDNA. Alternatively, results are ready immediately for a raw data upload.

Review of LifeDNA Reports

The reports are displayed on LifeDNA’s online platform, as seen below. Users can expand on each report, where they will find additional information and their genetic results.

LifeDNA reports

The company rates the scientific studies according to the system shown below to determine the statistical significance between the SNPs and the results provided in the reports. They do not inform on the total number of genetic variants analyzed, but they include which SNPs and genes were tested for each report.

The Nutrition and Fitness reports divide the traits analyzed into two separate groups; actionable traits and other genetic traits. The Actionable Genetic Traits section, seen below, presents an overview of the results and recommendations. Users can find more information by selecting any category.

Each trait or condition is explained and the report provides a few recommendations based on the genetic results. However, for the Other Traits section, LifeDNA only provides general information about the feature analyzed and recommendations that are not personalized.

LifeDNA’s Immunity & Vitamins and Skincare reports are presented similarly to the Nutrition and Fitness reports, but they also provide a summary of the results, shown below.

LifeDNA Immunity & Vitamins

The Immunity & Vitamins sample report seen below offers some dietary and supplement suggestions based on DNA. The report informs users of their nutrient needs and offers some examples of which foods contain those specific nutrients. LifeDNA also displays which genes are analyzed and the genotype of the user.

LifeDNA supplement recommendation

There is no easy way for users to gather all of their health recommendations from LifeDNA in one place. To view each suggestion, they need to go to the specific report. The risk management section looks cluttered, so it might not be easy to go through and decide which of their advice you want to implement.

The Health & Wellness and the Disease reports explain genetic risks to certain traits and conditions and offer general information, but they do not provide any personalized health recommendations. The company provides scientific references for some reports, but not all.

The reports are based on a limited number of genes and genetic variants. For example, the Insomnia report only looks at one gene and SNP to calculate your genetic risk score, and it does not include health suggestions. For comparison, the SelfDecode Insomnia DNA report analyzes alone over 800,000 genetic variants and gives personalized health recommendations based on your DNA.

Cost of LifeDNA

For the DNA test and reports, LifeDNA charges $199. If users choose to upload preexisting genetic files, the reports are priced at $99. In both cases, the Nutrition, Immunity & Vitamins, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Personality & Cognition, and Skincare reports are included.

Health Recommendations from LifeDNA

LifeDNA offers recommendations based on the genetic results for most traits that are analyzed, but not all. While the reports can give some insights into health and wellness, the company does not prioritize their suggestions. The reports are presented in the same basic format regardless of the results.

Furthermore, the results only take into account the specific genes that affect each trait or condition. The company gives quantitative recommendations about nutrient needs, but they do not suggest specific supplements or offer detailed information about the foods users should consume.

Review of LifeDNA Privacy & Data Security

LifeDNA claims not to sell DNA data without consent but states that they can send the genetic information to their doctor for personalized healthcare if they get user consent. The company may share personal information with third parties that perform services on their behalf.

They maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect personal data from unauthorized processing, including destruction, loss, access, disclosure, or use. LifeDNA states that users maintain ownership of their genetic data, and they can request for their data to be deleted at any time.

SelfDecode vs LifeDNA

  1. SelfDecode delivers natural supplements, diet, and lifestyle suggestions based on your genes that you can implement right away. LifeDNA gives supplement, exercise, and diet recommendations.
  2. SelfDecode tells you why they make each recommendation so that you can understand the science behind the suggestion. LifeDNA offers a detailed explanation of the results but does not offer personalized recommendations in all of the reports.
  3. SelfDecode prioritizes recommendations based on their analysis of all the relevant genes instead of one gene at a time (through reports). LifeDNA does not prioritize their recommendations, and reports follow the same generic structure.
  4. SelfDecode takes a holistic approach to give recommendations that are best for your genes AND the health topic. LifeDNA only examines the genes directly related to the health condition or trait that is being analyzed.
  5. SelfDecode has a team of over 60 highly skilled scientists, MDs, PhDs, NDs, and software engineers to make sure they deliver the most accurate and science-based health information. According to their website, LifeDNA has 4 MDs and PhDs as their scientific advisors.
  6. SelfDecode is the most comprehensive and looks at more genes & SNPs (over 83 million) to deliver the best analysis of genetic risks. LifeDNA does not disclose the number of genetic markers they analyze.
  7. SelfDecode supports everything with peer-reviewed scientific studies in their research and checks for contradicting information. LifeDNA claims to base their recommendations on over 600 peer-reviewed studies but does not provide scientific references in all of the reports.
  8. SelfDecode never sells your data or gives it away. LifeDNA claims not to sell or share personal health information without consent.

Comparisons

 

SelfDecode

LifeDNAOrig3n

Athletigen

Personalized & holistic health recommendations

YesNoYes

Yes

One-click regimen builder

YesNoNo

No

Products

DNA testing, wellness reports, health recommendations, patient and provider optionsDNA testing, health and wellness reportsDNA testing, health and fitness recommendations, vitamin delivery service

DNA testing, health and nutrition recommendations

Raw data access

YesYesNo

Yes

Cost (USD)

$97 – $389$99 – $199$29 – $600

$0 (limited) – $600+

LifeDNA Reviews

LifeDNA reviews are mostly positive. 259 Trustpilot reviewers rated the company an average of 3.9 of 5 stars. Some customers are not happy with the level of detail provided in the reports, with many complaining about the many additional fees you need to pay to get access to all the information. One customer says the report is short and “didn’t bring anything special”, while others claim they received generic information.

Top10DNATests’ editor rates LifeDNA 9 of 10. They are not impressed with LifeDNA’s test because they have not revealed much information about it and state that they are a very young company with room for improvement. However, they say the reports are comprehensive and offer relevant information. The website discloses they earn a commission if a purchase is made through their affiliate link.

For more current information, check out LifeDNA’s Facebook community.

Alternatives to LifeDNA

SelfDecode: Offers detailed health recommendations based on over 83 million SNPs through detailed reports and access to a lab test analysis tool.

LifeDNA Review Summary

LifeDNA offers a DNA test and a wide variety of health and wellness reports. The company provides detailed explanations of the genetic results and gives some applicable health recommendations. However, some reports only offer general information without any suggestions, and they do not provide scientific references in every report.

LifeDNA tailors recommendations toward the user’s genetic profile but does not inform which advice should be prioritized. In addition, they only analyze a few specific genes for each report. As it is, the company does not explain how they perform their DNA testing, or the total number of genetic markers analyzed. Many customers complain about the level of details they received with their results, so it’s still unclear how much the reports are actually personalized to your unique genetic makeup.

For a more holistic approach, SelfDecode analyzes over 83 million SNPs to generate detailed health, diet, and supplement recommendations, all backed by scientific evidence. SelfDecode provides personalized and prioritized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations based on DNA and labs.

Related

About the Author

Samantha Odake

Samantha Odake

BS
Samantha is an engineer turned writer with a passion for helping people.

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