24Genetics is a company offering a variety of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. With this company, you can test your genetics and get reports in a variety of different categories, from drug interactions to your athletic traits. These tests are supported by a varied set of scientific data, some of which the company shares on its website. The results from these tests can give you insights into your health, but cannot be used as a diagnosis tool. Here, we have reviewed 24Genetic’s many offerings and packages.
24Genetics overview and basic data
|Can be used for||Whole Genome Sequencing
Nutrition and Lifestyle Analysis
Sports and Skin Tests
|DNA collection||Buccal Swab|
|Number of SNPs tested||Whole genome, different numbers based on test|
|DNA sample stored||Stored for 2 months, then destroyed. Data stored on server indefinitely|
|Price||$199 – $2290|
|Platform matching for family||Yes, through GEDmatch Genesis|
|Geographical analysis of ancestry||Yes|
|Special Features||Offers a wide range of tests, including whole genome testing, a test with a sports medicine focus, as well as a test focused on skin care. Further, if you have already used 23andMe or FamilyTree DNA to process your DNA, 24Genetics can produce any of their reports from the data.|
|Number of users||Unknown|
|Address||Paseo de la Castellana 95 Planta 15A
Madrid – 28046 – Spain
|Client Reviews||Little-to-no online reviews|
Company background for 24Genetics
The company was founded in 2016, in Madrid. The company is held privately, and its owners are not clear. On their website, the company gives details of 4 people who are part of the team. 3 of them are scientists with previous experience in genetics, while the fourth is a marketing specialist. Little information beyond this can be found about 24Genetics, which is slightly discouraging.
24Genetics Offerings Review
This company offers a multitude of reports, with an equally wide range of pricing. Some of their offerings are intended for genetics beginners, while some products are aimed at people trying to answer deep and complicated health questions. Below are the varied reports, available for purchase through 24Genetics.
A flagship offering from 24Genetics is their detailed DNA Health Report. This test searches your DNA for genetic variants related to over 200 diseases and unhealthy conditions. The report details several different areas of your health. First, it looks at genes which have been associated with disease. Second, it analyzes your genome for known markers which indicate you are a carrier of disease-causing genetic variants. Third, it analyzes your genetics for influences on biometrics, such as how much cholesterol you are predisposed to having, to your reaction to caffeine. Lastly, the section contains a sample of your Pharmacogenetics results, or how your body possibly reacts to medication based on your genes.
This report costs $199, though it can be found on sale and bundled with different packages for much less.
The full Pharmacogenomic report details many medicines, used in treating everything from heart disease to cancer, and their possible reaction or efficacy based on your genetics. While this report means little to the average person, it may help your doctor prescribe the right medicine if they have multiple treatment routes available.
This report is also $199, but can also be bundled or purchased on sale at various times of the year.
Nutrigenomics, or Nutrigenetics, is the study of how your metabolism and diet are impacted by your genes. This report will supposedly detail the different ways your body processes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as how you are able to process and store vitamins and minerals. While the science behind this analysis is largely in their infancy, these tests claim to be a starting point for people looking to optimize their diet.
The report details four areas of your nutrition including Diet, Vitamins, and Minerals, how you taste certain foods, as well as your predisposition to gaining or losing weight. While this seems like an enormous wealth of information, the company only lists 4 scientific papers as “evidence” for how these tests are prepared and analyzed.
DNA Sports Test
Like the Nutrigenetics test, the DNA Sports Test promises big discoveries in your quest to become the ultimate athlete. 24Genetics promises to tell you things like how adept at endurance you may be, your muscular profile, your metabolic profile, genes relating to blood pressure, and even your risk for certain injuries.
While this all sounds really impressive, the science behind these is still developing. For example, one article that they cited as evidence for their reports said clearly in the conclusion that only around 20% of athleticism is genetically based, and that using genetic reports to identify athleticism is a waste of time. Other studies were only conducted on mice, and many claims are unproven. However, for someone trying to optimize their performance in any way possible, these reports may be useful. The report is around 30 pages and discusses more than 20 traits.
The DNA Sports Test also comes with a Free Ancestry test as a bonus and costs $199.
Skin Care Genetic Test
A second novel offering from 24Genetics is the Skin Care Genetic test. This test is in part an analysis of your vitamin and mineral metabolism, which can affect your skin’s health. This test also looks at how your genes may react to the sun, as well as oxidative stress and glycation. All of these traits may be in part determined by your genetics. While this science is also underdeveloped, it may offer promising results as findings become more researched and understood.
This report claims to give you insights into which facial creams to use, as well as what you should supplement your diet with to feed your skin properly. The report also details 30 or more skin-based traits which are influenced by your genes. Interestingly, this section of the website lacked a “What Is This Test Based On?” section. Typically, this question is posted on each of their products and details what scientific evidence they have based their results on.
Like the other tests, this one costs $199.
Claiming it to be the most accurate ancestry test on the market, 24Genetics claims they have the ability to identify more than 500 regions which your genetics could have come from. The test matches segments of your DNA to reference populations from these locations. Unlike most ancestry services, 24Genetics does not track you maternal or paternal haplotypes. While your ethnicity breakdown can be determined by autosomal DNA, these ancestral relationships are determined by mtDNA and Y-DNA, which 24Genetics does not measure.
This test starts a little lower than the rest, at only $149.
Whole Exome Sequencing
Your exome is the part of your DNA which actively codes for proteins. A whole-exome sequencing will “read” these parts of the DNA. This test is much more expensive, but the company guarantees to update you on any significant findings which relate to any of these protein-coding sequences. This comes in the form of the service Gene Patrol, which can feed you PDF updates to your original report as new scientific information is reported.
This much larger and more comprehensive package starts at $1150. This package is not for beginners, and should likely be discussed with a doctor or healthcare professional to understand its true value as a pre-screening tool.
Whole Genome Sequencing
One step further, beyond exome sequencing, is whole-genome sequencing. This analysis from 24Genetics will sequence and store your entire genetic sequence. This sequencing package also includes all of the above reports on ancestry, health, disease, and other topics. Included with a whole-genome sequencing is a Genetic Personal Report, which can be specialized to look for or analyze specific genes based on your preferences.
This whole-genome kit is their most expensive offering, at over $2290.
What separates 24Genetics from other companies in that regard?
The offerings from 24Genetics represent some of the widest in the business. At one end is their ancestral analysis, which is simple and almost overly straight-forward. Their health, disease, sports medicine, and skin care tests are fairly unique offerings. However, many companies choose not to offer some of these tests based on the weak evidence linking the genes to specific outcomes. On the opposite side, they are one of the only companies offering exome and whole-genome sequencing. These packages are expensive, but may yield many more results over your lifetime.
While their ancestry test claims to be one of the most thorough and advanced in the industry, it is clearly not. Other companies test for your maternal and paternal haplotypes. This information can give you insights into how your family migrated out of Africa and into the rest of the world. 24Genetics does not seem to analyze this data and relies only on the autosomes for ancestral information. Besides these shortcomings, they do seem to have the most reference populations of any company. Though it may be explained better in the actual results, the website does not seem to list the size of their reference populations. Small reference populations could significantly skew the results.
While their tests seem fairly expensive at $149 for incomplete ancestry tests, less than $3,000 for whole-genome sequencing is a pretty good deal. However, this is far more information than most people will ever use or need.
How it works, what will your kit include?
The kit you receive in the mail will contain several small packages. One contains a test tube and the other a buccal swab. Swabbing your mouth for a full minute removes cells from your inner cheeks and lips, depositing them on the cotton swab. Break the swab off into the test tube, add the small pill containing preserving agents, without touching it. Cap the tub, and send the sample back to the lab. The company even provides a video for the slightly complex process.
After a month or so, the company will email you a PDF with your results. Unlike other platforms, your PDFs are available to you offline after you save or print them. The reports can be anywhere from 30 to 200 pages, depending on the depth of the report you ordered.
Understanding the results
The results of the health report will be a large document detailing your personal results, and any potentially dangerous or risk gene variants you carry. The company claims that these are the most comprehensive of any company, covering over 200 possible conditions. Some of these are proven single-gene traits while others are complex genes with only a correlation to back up the theory
While some of these things can be very informative (i.e. carrier status for genetic disease), other variants only slightly raise your risk of certain diseases. The most important thing to remember when viewing these results is that you are a combination of your genetics and your environment, so you should always consult a doctor before taking action on any of the report’s insights.
A new and exciting field of study is Pharmacogenomics, or the study of how medicines are influenced by your genetic composition. Some drug manufacturers are starting to do DNA analysis when they test their drugs, as well as researchers trying to understand how to individualize medicine for their patients
Some drugs interact poorly with various genotypes, and 24Genetics keeps an updated list of these drugs. While the list should only be used as a recommendation for your doctor when prescribing drugs, it may provide you with useful information should you need certain heart, cancer, neurological, or pain-relieving drugs.
Nutrigenomics is another expanding field of research, seeking to help personalize diets for people. This report will give you insights into known genetic links to nutrition, such as the ability to taste or digest certain foods as well as your ability to synthesize certain vitamins. The report also provides information on genes which may influence your overall weight, also include in the health report. This analysis is meant to provide a genetic guideline to understanding diet and nutrition, specific for you.
DNA Sports Test
Many athletic traits, such as muscle composition and oxygen-capacity, are determined in some part by genetics. These linkages are detailed in the sports report, which also contains information on how your genetics may influence things like endurance and explosiveness. Like all the reports, these should be taken with a grain of salt because a correlation is not the same as causation.
Athleticism in general and even specific traits like oxygen capacity can be increased and improved with exercise and practice, and many researchers in the field have noted that these sorts of traits are mainly based on experience rather than genetics. This report might be useful for someone like a professional athlete, looking for insights to maximize their performance.
Skin Care Genetic Test
On of 24Genetics’ most interesting products is the Skin Care Genetic Test. Marketed toward the beauty and anti-aging industry, this product aims to give users insights into how they might age. Certain traits like your body’s ability to handle the sun’s rays are partially determined by biochemical reactions created by your genetics. While the evidence for these sort of correlations is in the preliminary stages, the company says the report will tell you which types of face cream to use and which vitamins to supplement in your diet to get the best skin.
24Genetics claims to have the “most detailed” genetic ancestry test on the market, but their sample results seem to contradict this claim. The report does have several fairly detailed pages on specific regions you came from, but the report is missing several features that fully online platforms regularly provide. These are things like an explorable chromosome map and details on your maternal or paternal haplotypes. This report is simply a list of pages with maps and a percentage breakdown of each population you matched to.
Whole-Exome and Whole Genome Sequencing
These complex packages include all of the reports above, as well as lifetime updates to new findings the company decides to report on. The company also provides the option for users to submit RAW data obtained from sites like 23andMe and FamilyTree DNA, for analysis in any of their tests.
Will your data be shared?
The language on the company’s website is fairly unclear as to what happens to your DNA data. While your personal data is protected (such as your name and phone number) the company’s Legal Consent form seems to say that you give up any rights to your genetic information and any products or services which they or their partners develop from it.
In layman’s terms, they are probably selling your aggregated, non-personal genetic data for use in research, pharmaceutical development, and other ventures. This is typical of many large DNA testing companies, though not all.
Media coverage and user opinions
Being based out of Madrid, the company is mostly covered in Spanish. Below are several stories which Google can translate into English. Among them are articles covering 24Genetic’s advanced Illumina chip-systems, as well as their acquisition of executives from IBM to aid in their expansion. Other articles covered their recent expansions into Japan, Mexico, and the United States. These offices are expected to increase sales in these areas, and further develop the company’s image
Other articles, also in Spanish, discussed other aspects of 24Genetic’s offerings. One story covered their health offerings, which are the same results Angelina Jolie supposedly used to decide on a preemptive double mastectomy. The company has also been involved in work concerning the genetic ancestry of Spaniards, which was highly publicized in Spain.
- PlantaDoce – 24Genetics lands in the Japanese market after opening offices in the United States and Mexico
- PlantaDoce – 24Genetics gets talent from IBM and finalizes its jump to Asia
- 20 Minutos – 71% of Spaniards have Valencian blood in their genes, according to 24Genetics
- Look – The DNA test that saved Angelina Jolie at our fingertips
There are very few user reviews found online for 24Genetics. The company is based out of Spain, and most of their current marketing channels are mainly in Spanish. The company has only 2 reviews on Amazon. One is extremely positive, while the other was disappointed with the results they received. Several professional bloggers and news outlets have reviewed the company’s various test kits. Together with the limited customer reviews, users had the following to say about 24Genetics:
Users who are happy with 24Genetics mentioned the following points:
- Some of the tests offered can be found nowhere else
- The company also offers whole-genome testing, a rare feature
- Lifetime updates will keep you up-to-date on your health
- The tests offered are on the leading edge of genetic science
- 24Genetics tests a large number of SNPs or can sequence your entire genome
- The results contain many detailed pages of information
Users giving 24Genetics a 1-star review mentioned the following worthy points:
- While the Ancestry claims to be the best, it doesn’t offer great family matching capabilities
- The reports do not have your name, so it is easy to get yours mixed up with another person’s results
- 24Genetics emails results in a PDF, and has no online platform
- While the report details regions of ancestry, it gives no other historical information
- Poorly constructed website
- Many tests are backed by shaky science
Bottom line conclusions for this 24Genetics review
24Genetics offers a great variety of unique DNA testing options not available everywhere. While their tests are on average more expensive than other testing companies, the company seems to conduct thorough testing on many of their packages. Right now, for instance, all the individual reports are available together for around $300. This is a pretty good deal and could give you plenty of insights into your genetic traits. The number of tests is impressive, but you must remember that some of these analyses are based only on loose correlations, found in relatively small studies. Others are more robust and can be very informative. It is best to discuss the results of these tests with an informed professional to get the most use out of them. Besides this, the company is a little behind-the-times with their slightly dysfunctional website, payment platform, and delivery of results in PDF form.