Leading health and DNA ancestry service 23andMe.com has revealed far more than I could imagine or what I knew about myself. In my 23andMe.com review, I reveal some interesting findings about myself and my ancestors.
A letter from the CEO of 23andMe.com regarding their recent investigation with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, December 2013:
Dear 23andMe Customers,
I’m writing to update you on our conversation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and how it impacts you.
If you are a customer whose kit was purchased before November 22, 2013, your 23andMe experience will not change. You will be able to access both ancestry and health-related information as you always have.
23andMe has complied with the FDA’s directive and stopped offering new consumers access to health-related genetic results while the company moves forward with the agency’s regulatory review processes. Be sure to refer to our 23andMe blog for updates.
We stand behind the data we have generated for customers. Our lab partner adheres to strict quality standards that are part of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 – known as CLIA. These are the same standards used in the majority of other health and disease-related tests.
You are among the first people in the world to ever get access to their genomes. You are genetic pioneers. Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to continuing to serve you.
Co-founder and CEO, 23andMe
Originally published review:
Since I know nothing about my real dad, other than his name and the information made public by his Facebook page, I know little of my own background and ancestry. My mom has recently started tracing her own ancestry so that has provided some interesting information but I found I’m much more interested in my genetic structure, not just names and dates regarding people I’ve never met.
Recently, I turned to the leading health and DNA ancestry service, 23andMe.com, who has revealed far more than I could have imagined. For $99, I was provided information on my ancestry composition, possible health risks, traits, and that I’m related to Katie Couric, Meryl Streep, and Stephen Colbert. All of those – super neat!
Once you purchase your 23andMe.com kit, it will ship within 1-2 days and preparation is as simple as collecting your spit in a tube, repackaging it in the box provided and sending it to their lab. It’s all labeled without your name to keep your information secure. Once received by the lab, you can expect results within 4-6 weeks.
Health information from 23andMe.com
Information provided by 23andMe.com includes diseases for which you’re tagged as an elevated risk. Having provided none of my historic health information, they were able to determine that my number one elevated health risk concern was gallstones. In fact, just after giving birth to my son, I had issues with numerous gallstones and had to have my gallbladder removed – dead on with this one! Considering my family’s history with diabetes, it’s not surprising that diabetes is at the top of the list either.
Ancestral information from 23andMe.com
Here’s the information I like to call ‘the money shot.’ This is your ancestry, your genetic makeup, your DNA – your ancestry. This is a screenshot of the melting pot results from both sides of your family. Northern Europe, Ireland (I knew this – it explains the red hair), and surprisingly Native American make up my ancestry.
All of this is part of a larger picture called me ancestry subgroup…
Apparently, I’m part of a subgroup that is mainly populated by Ashkenazi Jews so it’s very likely that my distant ancestors were Jewish! According to information and history provided by 23andMe.com, their roots lie in central and eastern Europe. These branches of haplogroup K are found at levels of 30% among Ashkenazi. But they are also found at lower levels in Jewish populations from the Near East and Africa, and among Sephardic Jews who trace their roots to medieval Spain. That indicates an origin of those K haplogroup branches in the Near East before 70 AD, when the Roman destruction of Jerusalem scattered the Jewish people around the Mediterranean and beyond.
Apparently, I’m also a distant relative of Ötzi the Ice Man. No amount of research that my mom or I could have done would have discovered that!
Data about my traits, including my tolerance to lactose and my muscle performance, is also included in my very detailed report.
You can purchase your 23andMe.com kit for only $99, with each additional kit for 20% off. They’re ideal for family members, especially for the holidays! You can also follow 23andMe.com on Twitter and on Facebook.