Vitagene was founded in 2015 by Reza Malek, a neurosurgeon. This direct-to-consumer DNA testing company offers DNA kits and screening services for the purposes of health and fitness insights, as well as ancestral information. The Vitagene lab is CLIA certified and CAP certified.
This DNA testing company's motto is Feel better. Look better. Live better.
Its testing services provide detailed information about your genetic traits regarding your body's genetic predisposition to different aspects of health, diet, and exercise. This information is used to provide personalized recommendations to help you make and reach your health goals. The results are not meant to be used as a medical diagnosis. Information should be used to better inform your life, not control it.
Keep reading for more details about the pros and cons of using Vitagene's testing service to help learn about your body and reach your diet and exercise goals.
Vitagene's tests use an easy cheek swab sample. Many users find this type of at-home DNA test easier to do than the saliva sample that several other consumer DNA testing companies use. Once you have finished collecting your DNA sample, simply re-package your test kit and send it back in the prepaid return mailer.
Unlike other major DNA health tests, Vitagene provides actionable suggestions based on your DNA test results. Individuals looking to improve their diet and exercise regimen are most likely to benefit from these products.
Vitagene currently offers three testing plans. Plans are reasonably priced compared to similar services. The three Vitagene tests are listed below.
Health + Ancestry DNA Tests & Reports — $99
Results for this test include:
Premium Health + Ancestry DNA Test & Reports — $139
In addition to all of the reports available in the standard Health + Ancestry test, the upgraded Premium service includes:
Vitality Bundle (Premium Health + Ancestry Test & Reports + Supplements Plan) — $289
This third option is a little bit different. Here is what it offers:
Please keep in mind that this option does not include the skin report, so if one of your goals is to learn more about having healthier skin, choose the Premium Health + Ancestry DNA Test package.
Vitagene allows users to upload raw data from a previously taken DNA test. Users can upload their raw DNA data file from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage DNA, or 23andMe to get two different Vitagene services. This means that if you have already paid for a testing kit with another provider, you don't have to order a new DNA kit to get results from Vitagene. Its cheaper and it's faster. Processing for each service takes about one to two days. Let's break down the options:
DNA Health Upload Report — $49
Uploading your raw data to Vitageme will offer the following genetic tests and services:
Vigor Bundle — $169
The vigor bundle is the second choice when uploading your raw genetic data from another source. In addition to everything in the Health report, it includes the following products and services:
In addition to the option to upload third-party testing data, customers can also download their raw Vitagene data file in a .zip or .txt format.
Shoppers can finance at checkout interest-free with Sezzle installment payments. While not unheard of in the consumer-direct genetic testing industry, it’s always a plus when there are multiple payment options.
If you choose the Vitality Bundle, receive personalized supplement recommendations with your DNA test results. The DNA test results will reveal which supplements work best with your body and which vitamins/minerals you are currently lacking. Supplements can help improve weight loss, stress levels, mood, sleep, and other daily functions. The vitamin subscription is $79 per month. The subscription will automatically renew at the end of every month. As with any subscription, remember to cancel when you no longer wish to continue the service. Stay on top of emails and renewals dates to avoid unnecessary charges.
Vitagene partners with three different laboratories to fulfill supplement orders. These labs include Douglas Laboratories, Pure Encapsulation, and Vitamer Laboratories. The supplements shipped from these labs are made with top-grade ingredients. You will never find artificial ingredients, fillers, preservatives, or GMOs in any of their products. Because the vitamin and supplement market is not highly regulated by the FDA, it’s important to find a company that offers supplements with clean ingredients.
Customers also receive free shipping on all their supplement orders.
Vitagene’s blog offers additional resources and information to learn about health and wellness. For example, you can learn about which supplements will improve stress levels. You can also learn more about the DNA analysis process.
Vitagene has an established customer support team that operates out of the San Francisco office. Hours of operations are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for calls or you can email the team at [email protected]
Once you have your DNA test results, you can ask questions through your account to the Vitagene team of nutritionists and easily find the answers with your login information.
The executive board at Vitagene is composed of physicians, genetic experts, and university advisors. These individuals specialize in topics relating to ancestry, bioinformatics, genome technology, genomics, and more. The scientific expertise of Vitagene’s board is an advantage for consumers looking for a test backed by science.
During the worldwide pandemic, Vitagene has shifted some resources to offer COVID-19 at-home testing. Consumers can fill out an eligibility questionnaire to see if they qualify for purchase. The Coronavirus test includes a simple saliva test kit, similar to the DNA test kit found in the ancestry and health tests. Local governments, businesses, and health care workers can submit orders for COVID-19 tests. Vitagene is still offering its three main products during this time.
When it comes to the ancestry report, you will get an interactive ethnicity map, with percentages in each region. This is not the selling point, and little information is provided by Vitagene about how many regions are available and how fine-tuned your results can look. The platform doesn't show any DNA matches, but Vitagene does have an upsell with well-known testing service, FamilyTreeDNA, to allow test-takers to access its Family Finder matches feature if finding living family members is one of your goals.
If you are looking more for an Ancestry-centric test with in-depth analysis, this might not be the best DNA testing provider for your needs. You can view a sample report online to see if this will provide the extent of the data you are looking for.
In 2019, news sources revealed that Vitagene had exposed thousands of client health reports to the public. DNA test result files were accessible on Amazon Web Services for several years until Vitagene was notified of the issue and shut down access. The personal information leaked included names, birth dates, and health information. However, no personal financial information was accessible.
While the company has since implemented additional safety measures, it’s difficult to tell whether or not Vitagene should be trusted with your personal information-especially information pertaining to your specific DNA coding.
While Vitagene offers health and wellness testing, it doesn't have a service that tests specifically for genetic health risks. If you are interested in health screening for genetic predisposition for certain diseases, you will want to talk to your doctor for a recommendation or use another testing company that provides these types of genetic risk results.