The best ancestry DNA tests to help you learn more about your health

The best ancestry DNA tests to help you learn more about your health

The other two kinds – mitochondrial (mtDNA tests) and Y-DNA tests give information about the maternal and paternal lines, respectively. As both sexes inherit mitochondrial DNA, both sexes can take the mtDNA test — however only females can pass this DNA onto their own children. But the Y-DNA test is only available for males, as females don’t have a Y chromosome.

How accurate are ancestry DNA tests?

Although 100% accuracy can’t be guaranteed from a home DNA test, they’re still a pretty reliable and fun way to learn more about your family history. “Of course, the science and technology is always improving, which means some results can update over time,” agrees House. “As our DNA network grows, we are able to provide updates and even deeper insights into our customer’s results.”

What do you need to consider with regards to privacy?

From deciding who can access your results, to having to opt in for your data to be used in research, making sure you’re fully aware of what choices you have around privacy and protecting your personal information is key. It’ll vary from company to company, but be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure you’re happy with how your sample will be stored, and what will happen with your results.

Are there any downsides?

It’s great to learn more about yourself and where you come from — but bear in mind that there’s always a chance that you’ll uncover upsetting information about your family that was intended to be kept hidden. Also, when it comes to your health, how prepared are you to discover potentially upsetting news about yourself — such as a proclivity for an incurable disease like dementia, or an increased genetic likelihood of developing some kind of cancer? We’re not trying to scare you — just make sure you think about how receiving unexpected results could impact your emotional wellbeing before you take the plunge.

What does an ancestry DNA test really tell you?

DNA ancestry tests have come a long way in recent years, and genetic data can give you a really comprehensive overview of your health. Some of them, such as 23andme’s DNA data test, can give indications on everything from your proclivity for Parkinson’s to whether or not you might have freckles.

With a quick DNA sample, most tests allow you to build a family tree and tell you their geographic origins. “Our DNA kits will tell you about your ethnicity, where your ancestors likely lived in the past 300 years, and who else in our database of global users you are related to,” explains House. “If an Ancestry DNA+Traits kits is purchased, you can also discover over 40 traits unique to you related to your personality, behaviour, and a range of physical traits.”

How long does it take to get results from an ancestry DNA test?

Waiting times can vary from as quick as two weeks to as long as six weeks for most brands, so bear this in mind and be patient.

Ahead, our full edit of the best ancestry DNA tests to buy today.

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