DNA testing kit review
Update 25.03.19 - Unfortunately I no longer trust or recommend the company who sent me this to review. I completed an honest review of my DNA test experience, shared numerous times on social media (they even used my image on theirs), but they have refused to pay me for the agreed collaboration. I'm most frustrated that this blog post took around three hours to write (going through 36 pages of my results), so I'm going to leave it here and just remove all reference of the company.
It's also a shame as I was ranking 1st on Google as a review for them which would have been a great referrer of traffic for them!
Luckily in six years of blogging this has never happened before. My free time should be spent with these two :)
How to complete a DNA testing kit
Usually you would register and order a DNA testing kit from their website directly, but as I was sent the kit for the purpose of this review, I didn’t order online. I guess my process is the same as if you receive a kit as a present. It comes with instructions to register your kit at their main website using the special ID number unique to your kit. You simply fill in a few quick details such as your name, age, email address and sex along with the box registration number to ensure that your results are sent to you when ready.
The kit comes with everything you need to take two DNA swabs and clear instructions so you’ll know exactly what to do. It’s totally pain free and you simply need to pop on some gloves and take a swab with an extra-long cotton swab in the side of your cheek. You twirl it round whilst coating it for 30 seconds or so and then pop it in a test tube. Then you repeat with a second swab.
There’s no need to worry that you’re doing it wrong as they’ll send you a second kit if for any reason they can’t extract your DNA from your two swabs.
Simply send the test tubes back in the envelope provided and await the email of your results!
Why choose the DNA talent test
I was at first offered an immune health DNA test which is very appropriate for this time of year, but my immune health is not something that concerns me. I eat a plant based vegan diet full of superfoods, fruits and vegetables every day and exercise several times a week. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke. Whether it’s my lifestyle choices or a strong genetic immune system, I rarely get ill - this entire year I’ve had one migraine and one day where I was feeling under the weather, but that’s it. I never get sick or ill. It’s very rare for me.
So I decided the immune test might not be so beneficial to me and they offered a talent test instead. It definitely sounded intriguing as it promises to reveal:
- Your physical, mental and intellectual predispositions
- Which activities and professions could be your most successful
- What potential talents you haven’t yet tapped into
- How your genes affect your personality
This certainly interested me as perhaps there is a hobby I have not yet realised I am good at or a profession I have never considered. Maybe I’d have a light bulb moment in my head and realise my future career and potential.
Through my twenties I never had a hobby or interest and always felt I was lacking one. I wanted so desperately to be good at something and to have a talent. I tried a few things and nothing ever stuck. I was always so envious of those who had a skill or talent, especially those who had perfected their skill from a young age. Why didn’t I know what I was good at?
It was the same with career choices. As a child I never knew what I wanted to be. I never had a focus or set dream. I flitted between wanting to be a teacher, a firefighter, a radio presenter and more. I never knew what my skills were or what I wanted to be. I had no set direction and this continued into adulthood. I never had a set career in mind. I was always hardworking and worked my way up in a company I was loyal to for 9 years before having children, but once I left to start a family I again realised I did not know what I wanted to be.
I knew I didn’t want to return to the same job as it was demanding and full time hours, when I wanted to be with my new daughter more, and so I trained to be a childminder. I think I was more passionate about running my own business and having more flexibility than the job itself and it never materialised as a house move took a lot longer than anticipated. In this time I had already started a jewellery business and from this a passion for writing was rediscovered and I turned to blogging as a hobby and future career choice. I am now a full time blogger - a blogger because I love to write.
Yet I always wonder how long the blogging bubble will last and if it bursts, then what will I do next. I have no idea.
Perhaps my DNA test will help guide me to a suitable career choice or suggest a talent that I could be great at!
A breakdown of my DNA talent test results
When my results were ready yesterday I was sent an email notification. I had to login to my account and download the results – a 36 page A4 booklet! It can be viewed online, but as it looked quite extensive I printed it out and read the whole thing. Sometimes I find a huge amount of information easier to process on paper instead of staring at the screen for a long period of time. But there’s no need to print and you can access everything totally online.
The results are broken down into an overview, main recommendations and then detailed recommendations. Let’s look at my results and my thoughts:
Apparently due to my variant of the COMT gene I have an increased level of dopamine and adrenaline which help to shape my personality. I was somewhere on the middle of their scale which meant I was a ‘sensitive discoverer’ as well as a ‘warrior’. I definitely like being called a warrior!
My personality traits were a bit hit and miss to be honest. It was a bit like reading a horoscope where some I could really relate to and sounded just like me, but others were nothing like me. Perhaps genes aren’t always conclusive or maybe I’m not interpreting them correctly. Here are some of the interesting points:
- It says I can easily lose my temper which is true! Not with friends though, but more with my kids! There’s only so many times I can repeat myself and ask nicely before I do lose my mind… put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, can you please put your socks on, PUT YOUR SOCKS ON. Job done.
- It does tell me to break away from my professional life or else it will have a negative effect on my lie. I’m certainly a workaholic and even more so since running my own business. It’s important to take breaks and not let it take over your life, but that is sometimes easier said than done when you work by yourself and can only rely on yourself to get the work done!
- It suggests I work on my creativity by listening to classical music. I’ll just leave that one there…
- It does say I can easily break addictions which I think is very true. Some people are terrible at breaking an addiction, but I am strong willed and if I want to do something then my will takes over! I also love an experiment and see anything such as giving up added sugar for a year (which I did in 2017) a challenge and one that I will succeed in! Turn giving up something into a challenge and I bet you’re far more likely to succeed.
- For my professional career, seeing as I have traits of both a sensitive discoverer and a warrior, it displays a whole host of varying career ideas: writer, fashion, artist, lawyer, nurse, waitress, broker, manager, lifeguard, the list goes on. It’s not very specific, so at least now I can blame my genes for my indecisiveness when it comes to a career path! It does say I need to decide which personality prevails in me to make a career choice, so can I be a warrior?
- Pressure at work is apparently good for me and I agree. I hate twiddling my thumbs and I need a lot of work to keep me engaged, so lots of deadlines and pressure – yes please. I work best when I’m fired up with lots to do.
- But then it says I need greater self-discipline which I disagree with as I am highly self-motivated and work well by myself, at-home, where others often say they’d be too distracted or procrastinate too much!
- It says as I’m a warrior then if I’m not satisfied with my career then a change won’t be challenging – ‘hear hear!’ This should so be true for everyone! Isn’t it so boring to hear those people moan constantly about their jobs they hate, but they don’t do anything about it?! Life’s too short to keep working a job you detest – do something about it!
- The diet section is probably relevant to everyone –consume more magnesium, don’t drink sugary drinks, do drink green tea. Sensible advice for all I’d say.
Memory and spatial orientation
I have a high level of the BDNF factor so I’m predisposed to faster transmission of information from short term to long term memory. This must be before I had kids and suffered baby-brain and mumnesia…
It goes on to say I gain motor skills rapidly and memorise them even after a few days. I’m a fast learner and can learn pretty much anything I set my mind to, especially anything academic. Here are some of the points that are interesting from this category:
- I might be a good driver. We’ll have to ask my husband Ben’s opinion on that…
- I may be good in maths, geometry and geography. Yes I am! Or at least I was! I got an A in GCSE maths and GCSE geography and loved the subjects. I ummed and arrrred about taking them at A-level, but was trying to release my more creative side and took drama and philosophy instead. Doh! I 100% should have continued with geography and maths and then who knows what career path this could have led me down.
- It reminds me that cortisol is increased in stressful situations and also too much working out and lack of sleep… I know, I know. I’m working on it.
- I’m also predisposed to high blood pressure which is interesting as my Grandad has hypertension and my uncle did. I’m hoping my lifestyle choices will help to keep mine down.
I have high levels of the protein KIBRA which means I have high verbal communication skills:
- Written and spoken communication isn’t a problem for me so it suggests a career with these. This is good as my current career involves a lot of writing! I love to write and hopefully I communicate well through my writing. I’m always told everything reads well.
- I don’t have problems with written work at school or work. I’ve always loved writing, spelling and reading and always enjoyed writing essays!
- I shouldn’t have a problem learning foreign languages. Well I learnt German at school and found it relatively easy, so I took up French as a second language and struggled! I don’t think I’m great at languages, but I just don’t have the time to learn one currently.= or the need.
- Apparently public speaking and presentations are not difficult for me. But they so are! I hate talking in front of large groups of people. I hate the attention and all the eyes on me. I went to a yoga class recently and had to introduce myself in front of around 35-40 people and my heart was beating so fast and palms sweating. I’m definitely not comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people I don’t know. I prefer small groups or 1-1s.
I have a higher sensitivity of the oxytocin receptor which means having a higher resistance to stress, emotional, optimistic and empathetic. I don’t think I do have a higher resistance to stress. Maybe more than others, but I still get stressed on a regular basis. But perhaps we all do?
- ‘Stressful situations aren’t problematic for you’… until I had kids…! (Of course I’m always saying this in jest, but parenting is stressful!)
- I find it easy to recognise lies and manipulation – yes I think I do. I’ve known a few liars and manipulators and I can see straight through it, even when others can’t.
- I’m kind. Why, thank you :)
Type of muscles
My muscles contain an additional protein – alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3 gene). I may be good at sports that require high dynamics, muscle contraction and anaerobic effort.
- Because I have an additional protein in my muscles I should be able to take part in sports that require high dynamics and strength. I love to run 5km-10km and I also love the step machine at the gym and yoga classes.
- I can easily build a muscular silhouette. Ooh I’d better try this! I do need to work on my bingo wings!
- I’m apparently more suited to sprinting, but I never got on with sprinting. I’ve always been good at and enjoyed long distance running. I do 5km runs at the gym a few times a week and sometimes go up to 10km. For 5km I run 1km per 5 minutes which I don’t think is bad. I could push myself to go faster if I was racing. I do sometimes sprint for a minute or so at the end of my 5km to really get my adrenaline pumping!
My energy is efficiently transported during physical activities, meaning I get fatigued slowly during exercise. This definitely rings true and is why I like long distance running over sprinting and can sometimes keep going and going…
- I am apparently talented in ‘sport’. I’m not sure I am. I enjoy running to keep fit, but I don’t think I’ve ever been talented in any other sports.
- This section tells me to choose long distance, whereas the muscle section said short distance. My genes are conflicted!
- It tells me to include dark chocolate, green tea and cocoa in my diet to improve performance. All things I love and all things that will give me more energy and also contain caffeine. I use cacao rather than cocoa as it is less refined. I choose dark chocolate that’s without added sugar so it’s healthier. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love green tea! These three foods could benefit everyone.
Wowsers, that’s only a tiny snippet of the comprehensive DNA report I received! There’s a lot that I feel matches me and some that really doesn’t. Overall I found the process of completing the test and receiving the results a fun thing to do. It was definitely interesting to see what levels of certain genes I have and what this should mean for my personality and health traits, even if they weren’t always accurate.
I’d consider doing a DNA test again, but I think I’d opt for something more specific like a health DNA test or even a food intolerance DNA test if I thought I might have an intolerance to something. I think DNA testing for health reasons is great to pinpoint a specific health problem or issue and could really benefit someone’s life. For recreational purposes or for a nosey insight into your genes it can be quite expensive, so I think it’s more valuable if you have a specific purpose in mind. That said, it does make a modern and unique gift idea!
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