Though a Walgreens test is appealing and seems easy and inexpensive, it isn’t necessarily the best option out there. There are so many different at home tests now that you want to make sure you are purchasing the one that best fits your needs.
DNA testing is still improving and many companies, including Walgreens are jumping on the bandwagon to give people easy access to DNA testing kits. This may seem appealing, but if you are looking for more thorough results, Walgreens may not be the best direction to go.
Lucky for you, DNA testing popularity has exploded in recent years, with the total number of people tested by consumer genetics companies projected to double in 2021, according to an MIT study. This DNA boom has made genetic testing one of the hottest conversation starters at dinner tables and among friends, family and acquaintances across the world.
It’s no surprise that DNA tests are in high demand. The things you learn from them are irresistible:
Family History & Ancestry: Many ancestry tests allow you to trace your family back much farther than traditional genealogy records. A select few even give you deeper detail about your family. You can also use your DNA to figure out where you and your family came from. With more advanced tests, you can even find out WHEN your family arrived in certain locations.
Personal Identity: On top of these first two benefits, digging into your family history and ancestry enables you to find out more about who you are personally. Certain tests will analyze 100% of YOUR genome giving an even more comprehensive look at what makes you, you.
Health Info: While the main draw for most people is ancestry, you can also use DNA testing to uncover important health information. The best DNA tests will enable you to lose weight, optimize your vitamin routine, and even learn about what traits you inherit from your parents. It can also help you discover inherited disorders, genetic mutations and much more.
Community: Finally, the communities you can build with ancestry testing are incredible. You may discover relatives you didn’t know you had, countries you didn’t know you were a part of, even royal dynasties you’re descended from.
With so many people clamoring to get their hands on the benefits listed above, more and more DNA testing companies have been rising to meet them. Each DNA test has different strengths and weaknesses.
When you look at a company like Walgreens you will automatically think they are a large company so why wouldn’t they have what you need. The options for DNA tests through Walgreens are very basic and provide you with limited data. They can give you some answers, but not all of them. They currently offer 3 different types of tests.
- HomeDNA Paternity Test ($27.99)
- Reveal DNA Paternity Test ($19.19)
- HomeDNA Ancestry Kit ($24.99)
These are very basic options and do not give you all the information you might be seeking. You also want to know if the data they are collecting on you is protected!
One of the biggest things you want to look for when choosing a company to handle and test your DNA is if they are backed by medical doctors, geneticists, bioinformatics experts and more. All of these experts will help guide you on your DNA journey.
One of the most common complaints we see from ancestry customers is that their results “fall flat”—you get a basic pie chart breakdown of where your ancestors are from, but a disappointing amount of information about how or why you got those results. And we all know that ancestry is more than just a bunch of boring percentages.
The best DNA tests feature an Ancestry Timeline that tells you not only where your ancestors are from, but how and when they got there, enabling you to form a clearer, fuller picture of your family history. These top-quality tests give you the best of both worlds of broad genetic results and deeper ancestry detail.
Our #1 tip, you don’t want to go for the loudest, flashiest DNA brand—instead, look for true experts in the field of genetics. After all, you want highly qualified scientists and researchers handling your DNA. Fortunately, the best DNA companies are headed by genetic experts, who have literally decades of experience in the genetics field.
Experts are not only more knowledgeable about your DNA—they also tend to be far more responsible than companies who are just looking to make a quick buck. These genetic investigators have dedicated their lives to helping you find out the meaning behind your DNA and family history, and they won’t rest until their customers’ curiosity is satisfied. If you want your burning questions about your DNA and family history answered, make sure you find a company with a professional scientist in charge.
These DNA tests are very accurate, but there are chances that their accuracy can still be compromised by a few factors.
First, one common way is sample contamination. This is typically consumer error and it is easy to avoid, but it can still happen. Be careful with your sample collection and read all the instructions that come with your test kit, whether it is a simple test like Walgreens or a more efficient test like Sequencing.com, Ancestry.com, 23andMe and others. If you turn in a contaminated sample, you may have an inaccurate result.
Secondly, Ensure that you are testing with an accredited laboratory. Many people choose the company offering the cheapest DNA tests, yet sometimes these companies are not reliable. Do your research on the company first.
Finally, Some DNA testing companies analyze different genetic variants. This can result in inaccurate tests if their database size is not very large, giving them less data to base your results on. DNA is great for finding close family relations, but more information can be difficult to pin down. Errors can be attributed to limited reference population databases.
If you want basic information such as a paternity test, Walgreens is a great option, but if you are looking for comprehensive health insights, advanced ancestry analysis, or genetic counseling, we are ready to help. Order our Ultimate DNA Test DNA collection kit or our Ultimate Genome Sequencing DNA collection kit today to get started!