Ancestry DNA Testing Reviews for Vitagene

Ranked 7th out of 51 in
Ancestry DNA Testing >
If you buy the Kit
Kit
From $89.00  $99.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4.5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
2 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary

The ‘Health and Ancestry Report’ provided by Vitagene was both engaging and interactive. I enjoyed looking through my recommendations, particularly my fitness planner, which was well-designed and fun to use and explore. The ancestry information provided was a pleasant bonus, though less comprehensive than a full ancestry report. Though I trusted the results, the ancestry section felt more like a nice add-on feature for those more interested in their genetic health.

Full Review

Vitagene was founded by C.E.O. and neurosurgeon, Reza Malek. Their team consists of experts in integrative medicine and genomics, as well as computer systems and product design. Based on the principle that we are all genetically diverse, the company aims to provide genetic health tests that are science-driven, affordable, comprehensive, and tailored to the individual.

More recently, the company has also provided a ‘Health and Ancestry Report’, with ancestry results powered by Family Tree DNA.

Please note that reviews for the health-related aspects of the test can be found here.

Product Expectations

The test I was to take was the ‘Health and Ancestry Report’, so I went to the Vitagene website to find out more.

The site was bright, clear, and well laid out. Here, I learned that my test kit would arrive three to five days after ordering, and I would take my DNA sample using a cheek swab (no blood!). Once my DNA had arrived at the lab, it would take four to six weeks for them to analyze it, after which I’d get my results.

There was a note about privacy, where I learned that Vitagene would use industry standard security practices to store my DNA sample, test results, and personal data. They wouldn’t sell or publish my information with any third parties.

Looking through the information for the Health and Ancestry Report, I discovered my results would consist of four main categories: diet, fitness, ancestry, and supplement recommendations. I could click on the icons for these categories to view sample sections from the report.

I learned that the diet section would contain a customized food list, and a closer look at how my DNA could affect my eating behaviors and weight management goals. I would also receive a personalized supplement plan.

The fitness report would contain a personalized exercise program, and information about how my body responds to exercise in terms of weight loss, whether I’m predisposed to be better at power training or endurance, and more.

In the ancestry section, I would find a percentage breakdown of my genetic admixture, showing the worldwide regions that had contributed to my genetic makeup.

I had a look at the “How It Works” page, which showed the steps of taking the test, and also a picture of what would be included in the kit. Here, I learned that people who already had their genetic data could upload this instead of taking a new test, in which case they’d receive their results in only one to two weeks. I saw that my DNA would be analyzed in a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988) and CAP (College of American Pathologists) approved lab.

Ordering Experience

Ordering the Health and Ancestry Report was pretty straightforward. I could order from the information page or from the online shop, where I could get reports at a discount if I already had my DNA analyzed by 23andMe, AncestryDNA or MyHeritage.

To order, I had to input my full name and email address, and then a phone number, a shipping/billing address, and card details.

I had a look through the Terms of Use, where I discovered that Vitagene’s DNA tests were only intended for people over 18. In the Privacy Policy, I learned that they would only share my information with my physician if I directed them to, that any personal information would only be shared with other parties in order to allow me to use their service (for instance, a credit card processor, or Vitagene’s partner lab, where my DNA would be analyzed).

There was also a Consent to Research form. This was very comprehensive, and I did not have to consent to research in order to take their tests.

The kit arrived promptly, in a neat package that resembled a picture I’d seen on the site. It contained instructions for taking a DNA sample, and a pre-addressed and prepaid box I could use to return my sample to the lab.

I needed to register my kit online using the provided code, which required me to create a password for my online account, select whether I was male or female at birth, and agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Once I’d confirmed my email, I could take a questionnaire about my current state of health and my fitness goals, which would be used to tailor my report.

I was asked what my main goal was in improving my health (this was multiple choice: I chose that I wanted to boost my energy levels), and a series of health-related questions, such as whether I’d ever had any surgeries, and what allergies I had. I could also input my height and weight.

If I followed a specific diet (vegetarian, gluten-free, ketogenic, etc.), then I could select one or several, which would alter my recommendations accordingly. I could also input my current activity levels, and select the fitness activities I enjoyed doing (such as swimming, running, and so on).

Two weeks after the lab received my sample (sooner than I’d expected!), I had an email to say that my results were ready.

The Results

My results email contained a link to my online account, where I could log in using the password I’d already created. Here, I was taken to my dashboard, where I could view my reports for genetic traits, diet, supplements, exercise, and ancestry. I could also update my questionnaire answers, or download my raw DNA data.

Results Section: Ancestry Report

Clicking on “Ancestry”, I was taken to an interactive map. This showed me the regions my ancestors had come from (shown below).

Click to see larger
My ancestry results map.

My ancestry results map.

At first, the map only showed my ancestry has belonging to three groups: Europe (a whopping 95%), Jewish (a modest 4.62%), and Asia (less than 1%).

Expanding these categories gave more a more detailed breakdown.

Click to see larger
My ancestry results map, showing my European ancestry.

My ancestry results map, showing my European ancestry.

As you can see, my ancestors came primarily from the British Isles and Ireland (the percentage breakdown showed 93.31%). I also had very small ancestry percentages for Southeast, Eastern, and West and Central Europe.

Expanding my “Jewish” result, I saw that I had inherited 4.62% Sephardic Diaspora DNA.

Click to see larger
My ancestry results map, showing my Jewish ancestry.

My ancestry results map, showing my Jewish ancestry.

As you can see from the map, my Sephardic Jewish DNA hailed from the Iberian Peninsula, i.e. Spain and Portugal. There was a link to read additional information about the region and the history of the Jewish people who had travelled there after their expulsion by the Romans, only to be expelled again a few hundred years later.

My Southeast Asian result turned out to comprise only 0.36% of my ancestral makeup. The region for this result was not very narrow, comprising Southeast China, Laos, Vietnam, The Philippines, and others.

Click to see larger
My ancestry results map, showing my Southeast Asian ancestry.

My ancestry results map, showing my Southeast Asian ancestry.

Summary

The ‘Health and Ancestry Report’ provided by Vitagene was both engaging and interactive. I enjoyed looking through my recommendations, particularly my fitness planner, which was well-designed and fun to use and explore. The ancestry information provided was a pleasant bonus, though less comprehensive than a full ancestry report. Though I trusted the results, the ancestry section felt more like a nice add-on feature for those more interested in their genetic health.

Please note we were invited to take this test free of charge.

See a description of this DNA test from Vitagene >