CircleDNA Review 2022
There are many different options available for genetic testing, and to decide which one is the best option, you first need to make a decision on which type of testing you want to focus on.
CircleDNA is a great choice if you are more interested in receiving genetic information about your health. Still, there are potentially better options if you're more interested in your genealogical ancestry.
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In this review, we've taken a close look at the DNA tests that CircleDNA offers, including how they work, how to use them, and how you get your results. As well as comparing its products with some of its competitors.
Who Is CircleDNA?
CircleDNA is a genetic testing company that is owned and operated by Prenetics, which is based in Southeast Asia. CircleDNA was founded in 2014 and uses gene sequencing to provide its customers with complex data about genetic risks, ancestry, family planning, and much more.
The company claims to have the world's most comprehensive DNA tests and uses whole-exome sequencing to collect 31 million data points which it can then use to build a genetic blueprint.
The aim of CircleDNA is to help its customers live a healthier life by providing them with data about their health risks as well as information on how to improve their overall wellness and habits.
How Does The CircleDNA Test Work?
CircleDNA test kits use advanced DNA technology from Illumina to sequence your whole exome, which is 1% of your genome. This is more than most other at-home, genotyping DNA test kits can sequence.
Whole-exome sequencing targets the multiple mutations in your DNA sequence that are responsible for your unique personality traits and physical characteristics.
The exome is the part of your genome that carries information about the health risks that you have, and so sequencing data from the exome allows CircleDNA to give you an in-depth explanation of both your positive and negative genetic characteristics.
What Does The CircleDNA Testing Kit Include?
Vital DNA test
This is the most basic DNA test that CircleDNA offers, and customers will receive 125 reports about their fitness, lifestyle, optimal diet, and wellness. It also includes one free consultation with a health coach that is trained in genetics.
Health DNA test
The Health DNA test gives users 115 disease risk reports, including 36 cancer risk reports and information on how to adjust your lifestyle to reduce these risks.
Also included is a complimentary counseling session with a genetics counselor, but this test does not include free access to a health coach.
Family Planning DNA test
The Family Planning DNA test provides 163 disease risk reports and is designed for couples who are planning to start a family. The test identifies specific disorders or diseases that can be passed down to children, such as cystic fibrosis and Gracile syndrome.
This test also comes with a complimentary counseling session but doesn't include any health coaching.
Premium DNA test
The Premium kit is referred to by CircleDNA as the 'world's most comprehensive DNA test' as it includes all of the other three tests to provide users with over 500 genetic reports and 20 gene analysis categories.
The Premium kit also comes with a lifetime subscription to updates on your genomic data and complimentary sessions with both a health coach and a genetic counselor.
How To Purchase A CircleDNA Testing Kit
How much does a CircleDNA test kit cost?
The prices of the DNA test kits vary widely depending on which tier of testing you choose.
The least expensive is the Vital DNA test which costs $170. The next tier is the Health DNA test which costs $499. The Family Planning DNA test also costs $499; the highest tier is the Premium DNA test, which costs $566.
Is a referral required for a CircleDNA test?
Users can order a test online from CircleDNA's website without having to first get a referral as CircleDNA is not registered as a clinical genetic testing company.
Do users have to register for the test kit themselves?
There is no registration required at the point of purchase, but once you receive the test kit, you'll need to download the CircleDNA app and register the kit.
How To Use A CircleDNA Testing Kit
Register the test kit
Once you've received the test kit, you'll need to download the CircleDNA app and use it to register the kit.
Remove the contents
The test kit will include a prepaid envelope, a sealed swab, a tube for storing the swab, and a sample bag.
Use the test
Take the swab and rub it against the inside of each cheek ten times. Once you've done this, you'll need to place the swab inside the tube and shake it. Then, seal the tube inside the sample bag.
Return the test
Once you've completed the test, place the sample page into the prepaid envelope and arrange for FedEx to return your DNA sample to CircleDNA, which is free of charge.
The Pros And Cons Of The CircleDNA Testing Kit
- Whole exome sequencing is more detailed than genotyping and analyzes more data
- User reports are clear and detailed, making them easy to read and understand
- Genetic counseling is included with all four tiers of testing
- CircleDNA is unable to access genetic data from other providers
- The DNA tests are more expensive than some that whole-genome sequencing companies provide
When And How Will I Receive My Results?
How long do the results take?
Once you've sent your test kit back, it will take 18 business days for you to receive your CircleDNA results. This is a lot faster than many other genome and exome sequencing providers, which can take up to 8 weeks to return your results.
How are the results sent to the user?
Your results will be available on CircleDNA's app, and you will also be sent PDF versions of your reports via email.
What do the results include?
Depending on which type of test you have used, the genetic results that you receive will be different as each test focuses on specific genetic information. The Premium kit is the most comprehensive DNA test that CircleDNA offers, and the results from this kit will include over 500 different reports.
The lowest tier of the testing kit, the VItal DNA test, will provide you with reports that give you information about your genetics and how they relate to 14 different categories, including ancestry, nutrition, skin, well-being, physical traits, and diet.
These reports are presented as actionable information, facts, easy-to-read charts, and other visuals. You will also be provided with statistics and scientific explanations that explain your results.
The app contains the most detailed results, and the PDF versions will only offer an overview of your genetic information.
Are the results updated?
Users of the Premium DNA test receive a lifetime subscription to updates on the app, which means that your results will be updated with further information and explanations of your results continuously.
This is not included in any of the other tests, but each test comes with either a complimentary genetic counseling session or a complementary health coaching session.
During these sessions, you will be able to discuss your results with a professional who will be able to explain them to you in more detail and help you to better understand your disease risk results and cancer risk results.
If you're eligible for the health coaching session, then the coach will discuss your results with you and help you to build a plan that will increase your well-being, such as setting fitness goals or improving your diet.
All of the information that is discussed within these sessions will then be sent to you so that you can use it going forward.
Is The CircleDNA Test Accurate?
CircleDNA states that all of its DNA testings is 99.9% accurate in terms of analytics. The company processes DNA samples in its own laboratory with the highest international accreditation level for whole-exome sequencing.
To sequence DNA, CircleDNA uses Illumina's NovaSeqTM 6000 sequencing systems which are considered to be the best in the market for whole-exome sequencing.
CircleDNA's website also claims that they have processed over 300,000 DNA samples with 99.9% accuracy so far.
However, CircleDNA does also make it clear that the genetic results users receive after completing their tests should not be used instead of professional medical diagnoses and should not be used as a reason to take medical actions.
Will CircleDNA Keep My Information Private?
In its privacy notice, CircleDNA advises that all DNA data provided by users is stored in a secure and private laboratory. The digital data that is collected by the company in relation to users' DNA is stored safely, and users can choose to have this data deleted at any point.
CircleDNA also states that data and personal information are shared with its own service providers but that this is only done with the consent of the user. Before any users' data can be used for medical and scientific research, consent has to be obtained by the company.
How Does CircleDNA Compare To The Competition?
CircleDNA vs. AncestryDNA
Home DNA tests from Ancestry.com provide you with a detailed genealogical ancestry report but don't give you any information about your health or disease risks.
The AncestryDNA test itself is cheaper than any of the CircleDNA tests and costs $100, which is pretty affordable considering the amount of information you will be given about your ancestry.
In terms of taking the test, the AncestryDNA test requires you to spit into a tube rather than use a swab as the CircleDNA tests do.
Although you won't receive any results relating to your health from AncestryDNA, you will get very detailed results related to your ancestry. This is due to the fact that Ancestry.com has the largest database of users of any DNA company, especially in North America.
Ancestry.com also allows you access to all of their online records for a monthly fee of about $25 a month, and you can use their website to build a detailed family tree.
So, in comparison, AncestryDNA is by far the better choice if you're looking for information on your genetic ancestry, but CircleDNA is the best option for detailed results about your genetic health.
CircleDNA vs. 23andMe
23andMe DNA testing is more similar to CircleDNA as it gives you the option to focus on purely genealogical ancestry or also to include results related to your health.
If you choose to only test your genealogical information, then it will cost you $100, and if you want to receive your health results as well as your genealogy, then it costs $200.
This second option is only slightly more expensive than CircleDNA's least expensive option and is far cheaper than any of the other tiers of testing offered by CircleDNA.
23andMe's results will give you a list of potential relatives and an ethnicity report, as well as your haplogroup results.
However, 23andMe only provides limited health reports when compared to CircleDNA. It will give you information about some genetic diseases as well as reports about certain physical traits. In comparison, CircleDNA is far more comprehensive in the information that it provides, and in this sense, the higher cost of its testing kits is justified.
CircleDNA vs. FamilyTreeDNA
As with CircleDNA, FamilyTreeDNA has a fairly wide range of prices, with the most basic test costing $80 and the most detailed one costing $360. FamilyTreeDNA test kits also use a swab to collect your sample rather than you having to spit it into a tube.
The most basic test from FamilyTreeDNA analyzes your autosomal DNA, which is the DNA that you inherit from both of your parents. FamilyTreeDNA then uses this data to provide you with reports about your ancestry and with information about relative matches.
CircleDNA's ancestry results do not give information about relative matches, so in this respect, the ancestry reports from FamilyTreeDNA are more detailed.
However, once you receive your ancestry results from FamilyTreeDNA, you will then have to build your own family tree using their database, as this is not done for you. This involves contacting potential relatives that have also taken the test.
FamilyTree DNA offers two other tests which will give you more genealogical detail and can trace your ancestry back much further than the basic test. The mitochondrial test costs an extra $160 on top of the $80 for the autosomal test, and the Y-DNA test costs an extra $120.
This means that for all three tests it will cost you $360, which is still cheap when compared to the costs of CircleDNA's higher-tier tests. However, FamilyTreeDNA only tests your genealogy and doesn't provide health results as CircleDNA does.
CircleDNA: Frequently Asked Questions
Is it easy to contaminate a DNA swab test?
It's recommended that you try to avoid putting anything into your mouth for an hour before you use a DNA swab to collect cell samples from the inside of your cheek.
If you have particles from things like liquids, food, tobacco, and toothpaste in your mouth when you use the swab, this can mask the DNA that is collected and may render the sample unusable for testing.
Should I share my DNA results with a doctor?
The health results you receive from CircleDNA testing are not clinical results and shouldn't be treated as medical reports.
However, if you are concerned about any disease risk results you receive, it's recommended that you consult a healthcare professional for advice, and this also applies if you are concerned about the cancer risk results that you receive,
Can I trust the results I receive from CircleDNA?
CircleDNA states that the results you receive will be 99.9% accurate as it uses Illumina's NovaSeqTM 6000 sequencing systems to process samples, and its lab is internationally accredited.
The Bottom Line
CircleDNA is a great choice for those looking to receive a comprehensive analysis of their genetic health characteristics. Although it is fairly expensive when compared to some of its competitors, the detailed health reports it provides are relatively unmatched.
The main downside to CircleDNA is that it only provides you with limited genealogical information, and for those who are more interested in their ancestry, it would be best to use a test from AncestryDNA instead.
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