23andMe and Me

ItalianAbout a week ago, my full results from 23andMe were completed and posted to my profile.  In all, I’m satisfied with my results and the whole process in general.

To start off, the basic cost for a kit is $99 (actually $108.95 including the standard to-and-from shipping), which might be out of the range of some budgets.  If you’re really curious about your ancestry or genome, it’s a small price to pay to know.

Neanderthal1They are still selling kits, even if the FDA is being the regulatory dick it always is.

Note:  There’s some screwed-up rules regarding receiving/shipping if you live in New York.

Anyways, I placed an order for a kit on 19 October and received it on 23 October.  The kit contained the sample collection vial, the funnel (with the stabilizing buffer in the lid, the sealable sample bag, and a cap for the vial.

First thing you do is register the kit and set up a profile at 23andMe.  I opted out of sharing some things and have my profile set to “private.”  Next, I collected my saliva sample (make sure to follow the directions included in the kit), this actually was faster than registering the kit.  It took me at the most 10 minutes.

Then I snapped down the lid on the funnel, adding the buffer to my saliva.  Again, following the directions I tightly capped the vial and shook it to thoroughly mix everything together.  I sealed the sample in the sample bag and reused the plastic container the kit came in to keep the sample from shifting around during shipping (you’ll see what I mean if/when you get one).  Finally, I sealed up the return package and took it to the post office to mail.

My kit arrived at its destination on 28 October, and on 7 November it was marked as “received.”  From then, I had to wait.

You get emails when everything is done.  The first one is the health results and the second one containing the ancestry results coming a few days to a week later.

Here’s a sampling of my results:


  • Health Risks

These are subdivided into “Elevated Risk”, “Decreased Risk” and “Typical Risk”.  Below is the highest “Elevated Risk” I had.

CeliacA possibility that I could develop Celiac Disease (the gluten allergy), which would suck, since I really like bread and pasta.

  • Drug Response

The only important things for me on this set was that I metabolize Proton Pump Inhibitors (like Nexium) really fast, the typical Hepatitis C treatment can have a reduced response, and that I have a higher chance of Heroin addiction (which might explain why I feel terrible coming off of doctor-prescribed opiates).

  • Inherited Conditions

I have zero inherited conditions, which means I’m not a carrier and will not pass those genes to my offspring.

  • Traits

This one is cool.  Based on your genes they can predict certain traits about you (i.e. eye color, freckling).  Here’s a sampling of mine that were dead-on the mark:



This was mostly the reason why I did this.  I was extremely curious about my genetic background.  These results took longer to calculate than the health ones.

  • Maternal Line


  • Paternal Line


  • Neanderthal Ancestry

The percentage of my DNA from Neanderthals, I was actually surprised at the result:


  • Ancestry Composition

This was the information I was looking to find.  To be honest, the results were what I expected:


There you have it, my experience and results with 23andMe.  If you have some money to get this service done and are interested either in your health or ancestry, I wholeheartedly recommend doing it.

Leave a comment if you have questions I didn’t answer.


5 thoughts on “23andMe and Me

  1. Interesting. I ordered my kit and already sent in my sample, just playing the waiting game.

    I guess I naively hoped they’d be able to narrow down ancestry ranges a bit more. I mean, 0.5% North African or Middle Eastern? That’s a huge area.

    And 46.9% “unspecified” is a hell of a lot. Oh well. I think I was a little too optimistic about the ancestry thing.

    As they get more and more samples, they may be able to narrow down these things a bit.

    But congrats on the high neanderthal percentage, and being clear of genetic disorders.

  2. BV Quick Question, When you make your results private, can you still search for cousins or whatever, they just can’t see you?

    • You can still see the matches for possible cousins (mine are mostly 3rd to 6th), but you can only “share” with them if your profile is public.

      There’s also an option to opt out of receiving any invitations completely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s