What to look for when buying a DNA test?

DNA tests are becoming a very popular phenomenon the past few years. Everywhere you look, you will find promotions of them. Varying between a home dna paternity test and a ancestry test, there are many options. Because of this, it is understandable that the question ‘What do I need to look for when buying a DNA test? Has been raised within you.


The database is of great importance in DNA testing. That means that it is good to find out how your data is being handled. For some companies, the database is their revenue model. The DNA test is sold quite cheaply, because the DNA data is sold on to, for example, insurance and pension companies. An option offered to counter this is to separate your name and address details from the DNA data. The DNA kit supplied then has a code that only you know. With the help of this code, you can request your results. In this way, your DNA data can never be traced back to you as a person in the event that the data is sold on or if the servers of the company concerned are hacked. A second option that is sometimes offered is that you can indicate that your data will be destroyed after the test.

Know what you want to know

Depending on which test you will take, it is important to know what to look for. When buying a paternity dna kit for example, this is perfectly clear. With a hereditary disorder test, this is a different story. There are innumerable hereditary disorders imaginable that can be found in the DNA, but it is impossible to chart them all. When reading out the DNA code, dna testing companies therefore look at the ‘hotspots’ where the most information can be found. So there is a chance that, for example, rare disorders will not be detected in the DNA. There are also tests that give more insight into how the body reacts to food, such as on the absorption of vitamins, about sensitivity to too much cholesterol or about your biological ageing. This knowledge can be very valuable for a long and healthy life. For example, you can make some adjustments to your lifestyle where necessary. To make it clear to you in advance what exactly is being looked for, various companies that offer DNA tests indicate in advance which things are being looked for. Read these ‘disclaimers’ carefully, so that you know what to expect.