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Vitagene Review: Are These At-Home Tests Really Worth It?

Written by Samantha Odake | Last updated:

Overview

Vitagene offers DNA and health testing costing from $49 to $139, and subscription-based supplements. You can upload a raw DNA data file, but cannot upload past lab results for analysis. Tests are only available in the US.

Pros

  • Offers DNA and lab testing
  • Affordable raw DNA upload

Cons

  • History of a major security breach
  • Only accepts raw DNA files from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage
  • Limited scope of health tests and DNA reports available
  • No personalized health recommendations based on DNA results
  • Tests are only available in the United States

About Vitagene

Vitagene was founded in 2014 by Al Hariri and Reza Malek. In March 2016, the company launched personalized supplements in partnership with Douglas Laboratories and Pure Encapsulation.

The company is based in San Francisco, California, but has service providers in Chile, India, Russia, and other countries.

Review of Vitagene Products & Features

Vitagene offers DNA tests for health and ancestry, and at-home tests for the following health topics:

  • Food sensitivity
  • Vitamin D
  • Blood sugar
  • Heart health
  • Sleep & stress
  • Inflammation
  • Thyroid
  • COVID-19

These tests can require either a saliva or a blood sample, and can be taken at home. You can also subscribe to receive supplements they claim are tailored to your DNA, although many customers report that might not be the case.

The Vitagene DNA test for health includes insights into your diet, skin, fitness, and supplements. They also provide a fairly basic ancestry report. They offer two DNA testing options that include the same basic information:

  • Health + Ancestry Report (does not include updates)
  • Premium Report (includes updates)

Users who already have access to their raw DNA data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or MyHeritage can upload their file to get access to Vitagene health reports at a lower price. Ancestry and skin health insights are not available with a raw DNA data upload.

You cannot upload past lab results to Vitagene to gain insights into your health, not even markers included in their at-home tests, such as vitamin D.

The company does not provide much information about their supplement subscription and requires that you first purchase a DNA test to learn more.

Review of Vitagene Reports

Vitagene DNA test results are available within 4 to 6 weeks after the sample was received by the lab. The ancestry report offers fairly basic information, identifying your ethnic makeup within 23 geo-regions. You can view a sample below.

When it comes to health, Vitagene divides their reports into different categories:

  • Diet: Includes traits such as gluten sensitivity, caffeine metabolism, cholesterol levels, and others.
  • Skin: Provides genetic risks for acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
  • Supplement: Includes genetic risks for 13 nutrient deficiencies.
  • Fitness: Advises on exercise behavior, weight response to exercise, blood pressure, and others.

Users can learn more about each trait by browsing the categories described above, as can be seen in the sample report below.

Vitagene DNA test health categories

You can expand on each trait by clicking on it. Vitagene provides a brief explanation of the trait and displays your likelihood of developing it. The report also includes how much genetics or lifestyle can influence each trait and offers some recommendations on how to improve it.

These suggestions do not appear to be personalized to each user’s unique genetic variations, as you can view from the sample report below for vitamin D.

Vitagene DNA test health report

As can be seen, Vitagene does not explain how genetics plays a role in each recommendation, or why it applies to your unique genetic makeup. The suggestions are very general and could be applied to anyone.

Below you will find another sample report for carbohydrate metabolism. The report does include a table with which SNPs were tested, but they do not explain how each SNP affects traits or why each recommendation is made based on the results.

Vitagene Supplement recommendations

From the image above, it appears that the report was generated based on one single SNP, possibly leaving out many that can affect overall health. For example, Vitagene tells this user to eat complex carbs because, based on this SNP, they are a slow carbohydrate metabolizer.

However, the test does not take into account other variants that may play a role. For example, if you have a particular TCF7L2 gene variant, you might not be able to handle carbs well, even whole grains. In this case, resistant starch might be more beneficial to you.

An interesting feature from Vitagene is the option of creating a workout plan and seeing how many calories you burn. You can choose different exercises and set the frequency and duration for each one. The company also informs you of some general benefits of these exercises

Vitagene results exercise

Lab tests offered by Vitagene are fairly limited. They only have 8 at-home health tests you can choose from, and you cannot upload past test results to gain insights into your health. Vitagene also does not inform you if your labs are in their optimal range, which is a far more useful metric to have for those who want to take control of their health.

Vitagene Cost

Vitagene offers health and DNA testing at various price points. They charge customers a one-time fee for tests, with the option to sign up for a supplement subscription.

  • Health Tests: $49 to $169.
  • DNA Tests: $99 for the Heath + Ancestry reports, $139 for the Premium report, or $49 for a raw data upload.

The company does not display pricing information for the supplement subscription on their website. You’ll need to purchase a DNA test to learn more about their supplements.

Health Recommendations from Vitagene

Vitagene DNA test results do come with recommendations on how to address each trait. However, these do not appear to be given based on your unique genetic results. The reports do not explain how your genes play a role in each trait or recommendation.

Additionally, these suggestions given by Vitagene are superficial. Reports only include one or two sentences explaining each recommendation, and many customers complain they are general and vague.

Review of Vitagene Privacy & Data Security

Vitagene claims that user data is stored without any identifying information and samples are destroyed after being processed. They may share personal information with third parties according to their privacy policy, but they extend you the right to opt out.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Vitagene had a major security breach prior to 2019 when thousands of client health reports were left exposed online for years. User files remained accessible to the public on the company’s cloud servers until July 1, 2019. Since then, they claim to have blocked outside access to the files.

Vitagene Reviews

Vitagene reviews online are mixed, with the most recent ratings on Trustpilot being negative. Users mostly dislike the vague and general health recommendations they received and the constant push to purchase Vitagene supplements.

Trustpilot – 290 Customer Average Rating of 2.6 of 5 stars

Many customers complain about vague and inaccurate reports and poor customer service. A few reviewers raise doubts about the reports, claiming that the results are only released after you complete the questionnaire with key information on the website. Users share that they did not receive guidance from the reports on how to improve their diet and health.

Amazon – 721 Customer Average Rating of 3.9 of 5 stars

Similarly, consumers on Amazon share that the report was not given to them until after they answered an extensive questionnaire about health. One customer says that the information they received was general and very little was based on their DNA results.

Alternatives to Vitagene

As reported by customers, Vitagene’s recommendations can be vague and generic. They are also limited when it comes to health topics covered by their tests. Currently, the DNA reports only include 4 categories, while at-home tests look at 8 aspects of your health.

For a more comprehensive approach to health, SelfDecode could be a good alternative. SelfDecode uses cutting-edge AI and machine learning to analyze up to 83 million genetic variants from a typical DNA file. You can either get a SelfDecode DNA test or upload your preexisting raw file.

With SelfDecode, you’ll receive the most accurate genetic risk scores and personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations based on your unique DNA. SelfDecode offers over 40 DNA wellness reports, with more being added constantly, so you can address any health concerns you may have.

By signing up, you’ll also have full access to SelfDecode Labs for insights into over 1,000 lab markers included in your membership. Upload your past test results or purchase lab tests from SelfDecode to find out where your levels are from their optimal range, and what you can do to improve them.

Comparisons

SelfDecode

VitageneWellnessFX

DNAfit

Personalized & holistic health recommendations

YesNoNo

No

Genes & lab markers analyzed

Up to 83 million genetic variants and over 1,000 lab markersA few SNPs per report50+ lab markers

Limited number of genes per report

Products

DNA and lab testing, wellness reports, research-based health recommendations, lab test analyzerDNA and at-home health testing, diet, fitness, skin, and supplement reportsLab test packages, practitioner consultations, informational blog posts

Whole exome sequencing, fitness and health reports

Raw data access

YesYesN/A

No

Cost (USD)

$97 – $396$49 – $139+$78 – $925

$49 – $629

Vitagene Review Summary

Vitagene DNA test results are presented in a user-friendly manner and are easy to navigate. However, they may be lacking when it comes to giving tailored health recommendations based on the user’s unique genes.

According to many recent customer reviews, recommendations provided in the reports are vague and generic. Users are also upset that the suggestions they received appear to be based on their answers to Vitagene’s intake questionnaire, not on their DNA.

Also keep in mind that the company has experienced a major security breach in the past, leaving thousands of clients’ health data exposed online for years.

The health tests do present a convenient way for users to keep track of certain health markers. Unfortunately, Vitagene is limited in the number of tests they offer. You also cannot upload past results to gain insights into your health.

If you’re looking for a DNA test that gives you a more holistic approach to health, SelfDecode could be a better alternative. You can upload DNA and lab results or purchase tests from SelfDecode to receive an analysis of up to 83 million genetic variants and over 1,000 lab markers and personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations tailored to you.

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