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August 17, 2020
Product Reviews

5 things you should know before buying LivingDNA

A LivingDNA review by experts. Curated information including reports covered, reviews, cost and about free DNA data upload.
By
Tomohiro Takano

The editors here at Genomelink think it is important that users find the right DNA testing company for their specific needs. Using our series of standardized reviews, it should be easy to review each company and pick the one that is best for your needs. Below is a review of LivingDNA, a genetic testing company which specializes in ancestry testing.


About LivingDNA
Test Results and Sample Reports
Reviews
Cost
Upload Raw DNA Data from LivingDNA


About LivingDNA

Quick Facts:
Company Name: LivingDNA
Foundation Year: 2002
Location: Frome, England
Monthly Visits: 300 Thousand+
Number of Databases: Unknown/Not Reported

LivingDNA was founded in 2002 by husband-and-wife team David Nicholson and Hannah Morden. Based out of Frome, England, the company is striving to be a leader in genetic ancestry testing, and they aim to be the first company to map and describe a global family tree. In 2017, the company initiated the One Family World Project. This project is aimed at eliminating racism through the use of a global family tree, showing us that we are all related no matter the color of our skin. Unlike many companies, LivingDNA promises not to aggregate and sell your genetic data. Instead, they use it for internal research for their One Family World Project and other genetic research. The company offers a 3-1 ancestry test, as well as an optional ancestry book, which details your family history in a convenient coffee table book format.

Unlike many companies, LivingDNA promises not to aggregate and sell your genetic data. Instead, they use it for internal research for their One Family World Project and other genetic research. This is a pretty big deal for anyone concerned about their DNA privacy because many companies aggregate your DNA data into large datasets that can be sold to insurance, pharmaceutical, and research organizations.

The company offers a 3-1 ancestry test, meaning you can get an ancestry breakdown of your autosomal DNA, as well as insights into your maternal and paternal haplotypes. Plus, the company offers an optional ancestry book that details your family history in a convenient coffee-table-book format.


Test Results and Sample Reports

Here is what to expect from your DNA results with LivingDNA.

LivingDNA Report Overview

  • Get a breakdown of your genetic ancestry with several detailed reports
  • Learn about how your family may have migrated around the globe over time
  • Get information on your maternal and paternal family lines, using the mtDNA and Y-DNA tests
  • Get an Ancestry Book, personalized with your reports, to share with family and friends

Starter Kit

The starter kit is a super basic look at what LivingDNA has to offer. It will give you a basic ancestry breakdown, but will only show which continents your ancestors likely came from. The starter kit also includes a look at some of the wellbeing traits that LivingDNA covers. The kit is only $49, so it is a good way to get into DNA testing for a very low cost. Plus, you can upgrade your kit to get more comprehensive results at any time!


Your Ancestry Kit

LivingDNA provides accurate, interesting information on your family history using a variety of sources such as Y-DNA and mtDNA. Plus, the company is unique in that it will publish an ancestry book specifically for you. This is a great addition and can help you easily share your results with anyone you would like. The book is professionally bound, and it makes great reading for anyone interested in their genetic ancestry. It has information on your family ancestry, a migration map, and details on your genetic genealogy. Further, LivingDNA is one of the only companies to make a commitment to keeping your results private. While they do use your data to do research, they do not aggregate and sell your DNA like many companies. The company has a majority of users from the UK, making their results for Europe, British, and Irish ancestry very accurate. Outside of the British Isles, some users have complained about a drop in accuracy due to a small reference population.

This kit also includes Y-DNA and mtDNA, so you can get detailed information on your paternal line and maternal line, respectively. While the bigger companies are also starting to look at your maternal and paternal haplogroups, LivingDNA has been analyzing these parts of your DNA for a long time. Compared to the hundreds of dollars you would have to spend to get these results elsewhere, LivingDNA’s $79 is a total steal.

Plus, the company is unique in that it will publish an ancestry book specifically for you. This is a great addition and can help you easily share your results with anyone you would like. The book is professionally bound, and it makes great reading for anyone interested in their genetic ancestry. It has information on your family ancestry, a migration map, and details on your genetic genealogy. 


If you want more information on what you can expect from a LivingDNA test, check out the link below!
LivingDNA Sample Report


Wellbeing Kit

If you are less interested in your ancestry, and more interested in learning how your DNA may affect your nutrition and exercise, the Wellbeing Kit from LivingDNA is for you! 


This kit analyzes around 10 traits related to nutrition and exercise including Vitamin D levels, food metabolism, exercise and injury recovery traits, and more. The reports will give you advice on nutrition and specific exercises that may help you meet your wellness goals. 


But, the reports currently do not include any information related to genetic diseases or genetic health risks. So, you will not be able to find out about your risk for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or if you have a chance of passing on genetic variations that could lead to genetic disorders. 


Wellbeing and Ancestry Kit

With this kit, you get everything that LivingDNA has to offer. This includes their excellent ancestry panel, as well as the wellbeing traits that they cover. One really great thing about their products is that they will continue to update their results as the science behind DNA testing develops. That means that by purchasing the Wellbeing and Ancestry kit now, you will be able to get the most advanced and up-to-date results for years to come!


Reviews

While LivingDNA does not have many online reviews, several people have left reasonable reviews. See them below.

One of the main user complains with LivingDNA is that their reference populations are biggest in places like Wales, Ireland, and Great Britain. This means that users with ancestors from France, Germany, Italy, or other European countries are not quite as accurate. However, LivingDNA results will get better over time, as they increase the size of their reference populations.

Further, LivingDNA is one of the only companies to make a commitment to keeping your results private. While they do use your data to do research, they do not aggregate and sell your DNA like many companies. The company has a majority of users from the UK, making their results for Europe, British, and Irish ancestry very accurate. But, the company has recently expanded into Africa. With 72 new regions, they now have one of the largest reference panels for African ancestry testing!

LivingDNA, overall, has a very comprehensive and thorough Ancestry analysis. While they are still working on creating a comprehensive DNA Wellness analysis, this company is best for people who want to explore their DNA ancestry. Unlike MyHeritage and Ancestry, LivingDNA does not have a historical records database or the ability to build a family tree. But, they do have probably the most detailed ancestry reports on the market today.

Cost

The cheapest test offered at LivingDNA, the Starter Kit, is only $49. However, this kit is mainly to get users interested in their DNA results and upsell them on a more comprehensive DNA analysis. That being said, even this basic starter kit allows you to download your raw DNA data. Check out the Raw DNA Data section below to learn what you can do with this data!

The basic ancestry test $79. This test covers autosomal DNA, as well as mtDNA and Y-DNA sequences. While this is slightly more expensive than some companies, the test is analyzing your mtDNA and Y-DNA for no additional cost. This makes LivingDNA DNA kits a great value for your money. Further, the company often runs promotions which reduces the cost of the test kit further. Plus, for only an additional $69, you can get the professionally-produced Ancestry Book. This book is specific to your personal ancestry and can be a great way to share your results.

You can get a Wellbeing kit for $99, or you can go for the whole enchilada with the Wellbeing and Ancestry kit for $149. The Wellbeing kits are priced similarly to health tests offered by many companies but don’t actually offer Carrier Status reports or Genetic Health Risk reports. So, you may be better off with another company if health traits are your focus. Many of the wellbeing traits covered by LivingDNA can be found for free on Genomelink and other third-party DNA analysis sites that use your raw DNA data.


Upload Raw DNA Data from LivingDNA

LivingDNA allows you to download your raw DNA data from any of your DNA testing kits. If you don’t care about your ancestry results, this creates a great opportunity to learn more about your health and wellness traits from other companies. The starter kit is only $49, which is about the cheapest DNA sequencing kit on the market. Then, using the data you download, you can access a wide range of traits. For example, Genomelink covers hundreds of DNA traits related to health, wellness, mental traits, nutrition, and exercise. 

Even if you do go for the more advanced Wellness or Ancestry testing kits, you can still get your raw DNA data. Using this raw DNA data file, you can get a plethora of other information from the following sites. Some of these sites allow you to upload your raw data for free, and give you access to information on health traits, disease-causing genes, and lifestyle traits influenced by your genetics. One cheek swab can get you so much more. Check them out!

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 200+ traits for FREE at Genomelink!
Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO