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January 10, 2020
Product Reviews

A LivingDNA Review: How Are They Different?

An expert review on LivingDNA. Appealing reasons and information to consider using their services.
Tomohiro Takano

LivingDNA is a genetic ancestry company with a mission to build and connect the entire world in a family tree. The company has several offerings that allow you to explore both your genetic genealogy and wellness traits related to your DNA data with a simple cheek swab. However, there are several areas where LivingDNA is set apart from its competitors.

Here is our breakdown of each one!

Get Started for Cheap!

LivingDNA offers an introductory package for only $49. This is one of the easiest ways to explore DNA testing kits and learn more about how your DNA affects your life. The Starter Kit includes DNA matches, a global ancestry DNA evaluation, and insights into nutrition and fitness based on your genetic profile. This is one of the best and cheapest ways to get started with DNA testing and explore your autosomal DNA.

Plus, the Starter Kit gives you the option to upgrade to a bigger package for a more complete analysis of either your ancestry, your wellness, or both. This is perfect for users who want a taste of what DNA has to offer, without spending an arm and a leg. If you find that the information is useful, you can easily upgrade your report with a few clicks!

Wellness and Ancestry Testing

The company also offers an Ancestry and Wellness package for only $179, which is about $20 cheaper than a comparable product from 23andMe. Wellness testing kits include many different aspects of your nutrition and fitness traits, and they will give you a detailed breakdown. For example, you will learn about how your body processes vitamins, and what foods your body can easily metabolize. You will also learn about different exercises you can complete to maximize your workout, and how your muscle and fatigue recovery are influenced by your genes.

The ancestry testing provided by LivingDNA is up to the “gold standard”. The company has been around since it’s 2002 start in the British Isles, and it has compiled one of the largest and most diverse groups of reference populations in the industry. The company has a reference population for many countries and many sub-regional groups within those countries. This can give you very accurate DNA results about where your genes came from, which can help you build a family tree or research your family history. However, since the company only tests autosomal DNA you cannot research your motherline, fatherline, or haplogroups. Your haplogroup is related to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA samples, as opposed to autosomal DNA. 

DNA Privacy

Unlike many companies selling DNA testing kits, LivingDNA does not sell any of your data to third-parties. According to the LivingDNA Privacy Centre, your data is only used to improve their systems and services. Many companies will use your data for internal research, but very few companies have made a commitment to not selling your genetic or personal data to pharmaceutical or insurance companies.

This makes LivingDNA a great choice for anyone concerned about their genetic privacy. You know for sure that your mouth swab and LivingDNA test kit information will not be shared with anyone. While privacy concerns are usually minimal because raw data is aggregated and anonymized, any company that can make a successful business model without selling your data should be celebrated. 

Support a Global Family Tree

In 2017, LivingDNA helped create the One Family One World DNA Project. This massive undertaking means to build and understand how all humans are part of the same, enormous family tree. If you use LivingDNA, you can opt into research on the project, which can help researchers determine how you and your family are connected to the world family tree. The company is building out regional British family trees and combining them with trees from Ireland, Scotland, Europe, Asia, and North America to create one massive, interconnected tree. This is in an effort to show how sub-regional family tree DNA data actually unites us all!

Many companies allow you to build a personal family tree, but only a few are dedicated to building a massive family tree. LivingDNA was founded on the idea that using DNA data, we can reduce the divides between people to live happier, healthier lives. They are pursuing this goal actively with both their ancestry testing services and their wellness trait analysis. 

Get “Personalized Merchandise” from your DNA!

One very cool thing offered by LivingDNA that may spark your interest is the Personalized Family Ancestry book. Using your DNA and genetic heritage, LivingDNA creates a professional coffee-table book containing all the information in your ancestry report, as well as a look into certain migrations and historical events that may have occurred in your family’s history. The migration map provided in the book is a great conversation starter!

While the personalized book has been advertised openly by the company, LivingDNA is likely working on other DNA-based products for release in the near future. Their website lists “Personal Merchandise” as an optional add-on to the ancestry DNA kit. Hopefully, the company will be producing more merch that can be a fun way to share your DNA results with friends and family! 

Use LivingDNA with Raw DNA data

If you have already taken an ancestry test with another company, you can search for matches on the LivingDNA database for free. Simply by uploading your data, the company will give you access to their massive family networks. This can really help you explore your family ancestry, whether they are Irish, from Great Britain, or from almost any other region of the world.

Here are some other great ways to explore your DNA!

While LivingDNA offers some great options for exploring your ancestry test and wellbeing traits, you can also get some extra information from these sources. Many of the companies below provide a free analysis of your uploaded LivingDNA results or raw DNA data from another company. Check them out!

Know "More" About Your DNA Data

1. Genomelink — FREE

Ancestry DNA Tests

3. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) — FREE

4. MyHeritage DNA — FREE

5. LivingDNA — FREE

6. GEDmatch — FREE

Nutrition and Fitness

7. Genopalate

9. Vitagene

10. DNA Fit

To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"

Did you get 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or MyHeritage results back? Upload your raw DNA data to access 25+ traits for FREE at Genomelink!
Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO
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