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Launched in 2016, SelfDecode is a DNA testing company offering consumers and physicians access to better understand and interpret individuals' traits, for health and wellness purposes. It offers premium software tools to understand your raw DNA data and the ability to search for specific genes (SNPs).

Selfdecode's consumer product offers genetic data from several different fields of study, including health, wellness, diet, and lifestyle. SelfDecode works with the general public, but also offers a plan for health practitioners. SelfDecode is a subscription-based DNA analysis platform.

It offers recommendations to help improve your well-being and quality of life, which are based on genetics and client experience. It does not provide information about genetic genealogy or ancestry.

Keep reading our SelfDecode review for the pros and cons of using this genetic testing company to test and analyze your DNA.

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The Good

  • SelfDecode Kit Data
  • Lifetime and Subscription Options
  • Customize Your Gene Pack
  • Special Functions and Recommendations
  • Symptoms Analyzer
  • DNA Upload Options
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • Data Sharing Policy
  • Referral Discounts
  • Personalized Genetic Blog

SelfDecode Kit Data

While you have the option to upload third-party DNA and just pay for the SelfDecode subscription, depending on the source of your raw data file, you might not have access to all the same SNPs. 

Users can benefit from SelfDecode's branded DNA kit and test because it tests for and records approximately 900,000 genetic variants, while its analysis covers 40,000 SNPs. For comparison, AncestryDNA's testing process records 669,000 variants and 23andMe's DNA test records 650,000. The 900,000 variants that are recorded are the most clinically relevant. This practice of recording more data than is currently analyzed isn't unique. It allows you to benefit from future analysis and advances, without having to take another test. Examples of genes recorded include the following: 

  • MTHFR
  • ApoE
  • COMT
  • Vitamin D Receptor (VDR)
  • HLA Variants

This isn't your whole genome mapped. Human beings have about 10 million SNPs and DNA testing companies focus on the SNPs relevant to their goals, whether the focus is on nutrition, health, ancestry, or something else. 

The report categorizes your results into gene packs. The gene packs help you identify which genetic variants could be influencing your health. You will also receive personalized health recommendations based on your test results. 

Additionally, if you get your DNA sequenced with a SelfDecode DNA kit, your purchase includes the raw data file. 

Lifetime and Subscription Options

Users can choose to subscribe via an annual membership or a lifetime membership for a one-time payment. 

Annual Subscription Lifetime Access
  • 1 Introductory Wellness Report
  • 3 Premium Wellness Reports per year
  • Any additional reports are 50% off 
  • A 3-Report Bundle is also available 
Access to all Wellness Reports, including currently available reports and future releases

If you are interested in access to all wellness reports or continuously updated results, lifetime access might be right for you. As your life changes, you can always go back to the portal and find out what genes might be contributing to your symptoms.

Customize Your Gene Pack 

With SelfDecode, you can customize the genetic tests and reports that you are getting access to. With over 70 categories of reports, packages cover trait analysis in the following areas: 

  • Aging
  • Diet
  • Disease risks
  • Lifestyle
  • Methylation
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Toxin responses

SelfDecode offers a unique report focused on cognitive function. This is one of the first genetic tests of its kind. The test identifies genetic weaknesses found in your brain functioning. With the test results, you can receive personalized recommendations on how to improve mental clarity and mental energy. The primary goal is to help consumers find enhanced mind power by decreasing brain fog and improving productivity. This is just one example of the many report options found at SelfDecode. 

You can see a list of specific reports on the SelfDecode website. Read through the offerings to see which tests best fulfill your current needs.

Special Functions and Recommendations

SelfDecode users have several helpful tools that are hard to find with other consumer DNA testing and analysis companies. You can bookmark genes and compare your DNA to others'. The platform even offers a search function if you are interested in looking at specific genes or SNPs. 

While other lifestyle and fitness testing companies offer analysis and then lead you through to an in-house supplement subscription, like the gift shop at the end of an amusement park, SelfDecode recommends nutritional supplements, but doesn't sell them. 

Symptoms Analyzer

One of the unique things about SelfDecode is the Symptoms Analyzer tool. Based on the symptoms that you input, you can isolate data from the most relevant genes that may be contributing to your symptoms. For example, you could analyze what genes may be contributing to a symptom of chronic inflammation.

DNA Upload Options

If you have already taken a DNA test with another DTC company, you will likely be able to just upload your data file for free and pay for platform access. SelfDecode's platform accepts file formats from one of the widest ranges available. SelfDecode’s DNA upload option works with the following providers:

Money-Back Guarantee

On any subscription, you are eligible for a 30-day, money-back guarantee. 

Data Sharing Policy

SelfDecode provides tools to analyze your DNA data for your well-being. Its policy on selling data states:

"As opposed to other companies, we never sell your data to other companies nor do we share user data with any third parties."

The company also tries to keep your data secure by only collecting the required data. The website has additional security measures to keep information protected from hackers.

Referral Discounts

Whether you choose the one-time access payment or the ongoing subscription, all members get the option to invite up to ten friends or family to join with a discount. 

Personalized Genetic Blog

An interesting feature of the SelfDecode website that shoppers should know about is the new personalized genetics blog. You can read articles about all kinds of SNPs, while the website's algorithm analyzes the specific traits in question, from your DNA file. Then, it calculates a score, viewable in the blog to indicate how that trait applies to you, as well as an on-topic recommendation for you.

This means that you can research and read more about health advice and whether it applies to you, based on your specific genetic variations. New blog posts are released daily. 

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The Bad

  • Subscription-Based Service
  • No DNA Kit Refunds
  • Not Available for New York and Maryland Residents
  • Lifetime Access Caveat
  • Not FDA Approved
  • Long Processing Time

Subscription-Based Service

SelfDecode is an online platform that consumers pay to access. Thus, an ongoing subscription is offered. However; if you just want to pay once for all-access, you also have that option. 

No DNA Kit Refunds

While there is a great 30-day, money-back guarantee for any subscription access, SelfDecode DNA kits are non-refundable. 

Not Available for New York and Maryland Residents

Currently, state regulations will not allow for SelfDecode to test samples collected or shipped from two states: New York and Maryland. 

Lifetime Access Caveat

Lifetime Access users should not that their one-time payment gains access to the current SelfDecode platform and all upcoming SNP-based report updates. SelfDecode makes clear that there will be additional payment needed for SelfDecode whole genome sequencing, when it is available. 

This is understandable, as whole genome sequencing will be more costly for the company to provide. 

Not FDA Approved 

SelfDecode's website has a disclaimer that none of the analysis or information you learn from the site is FDA approved. 

This is hardly unique when it comes to DTC genetic testing. The FDA has only approved certain genetic risk screenings provided by 23andMe (listed here). All of the other providers of genetic tests for health and risk screening are not approved. 

Long Processing Time

Results take about six to eight weeks. You will get an email update when they are ready and they will be accessible on the company's platform. This is a relatively long processing time compared to other companies in the industry.

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The Bottom Line

SelfDecode is a DNA testing and analysis company for people that want to dig deep and learn insights from the latest DNA-related research, and specifically how it applies to them. There is a lot to learn and, whether you invest in the company's extensive (and low-priced) DNA kit and the data that comes with it, there are 74 categories of personalized health reports for you to explore.

Customers do have to choose what type of platform access to pay for: a $59 annual subscription or a one-time fee of $199 for lifetime access.

Have you used SelfDecode's DNA test or tried out its platform to learn about your DNA? Would you recommend it to a friend? Let us know about your experience with a quick review below. 

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