Table of contents
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
October 6, 2021
7 facts from our Promethease Review
- Location: Promethease was recently acquired by MyHeritage which is located in Israel
- Products: DNA data upload for health reporting
- Reports: very detailed on disease risks, but sometimes difficult to understand
- Result delivery: through the Promethease website
- Privacy: data deleted automatically after 45 days
- Cost: $12
- Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (free DNA upload and reporting based on latest scientific discoveries)
Promethease is a website used for genome health reporting. The site was launched in 2008 and is based on the SNPedia wiki. Both websites were acquired in 2019 by the genealogy platform MyHeritage. Promethease and SNPedia have become one of the most widely used sites for DNA health reporting.
The company uses the SNPedia’s extensive research library to inform users of their genetic variants. The SNPedia library contains health information on over 100,000 gene variants. Each entry in the SNPedia library is selected based on actual genetic information and results from peer-reviewed scientific research. Read more in our Promethease review!
Let’s start the review with an overview of the Promethease service. The company is a DNA data analysis and literature retrieval system that does not offer DNA testing services. Instead, this company focuses on analyzing genetic markers in uploaded raw DNA data and providing detailed health reports. It does not offer any DNA ancestry or family tree maker services.
It is designed to be compatible with raw data from other genetic testing providers. The Promethease test is compatible with raw DNA data exports from Nebula Genomics, 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc.
Their flagship product is a DNA health report. This report is based on genetic data from academic research aggregated on SNPedia.com — a database of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
The health report is presented as a list of relationships between users’ gene variants and health traits. Each item carries a brief description, details about biology, and an assessment of the medical significance. This service can be used to analyze medical history and genetic health risks based on family history.
The company is very transparent about the sources of its data. Users can go from their results to the scientific studies behind those results with just a few clicks.
Each Promethease DNA report costs $12 and is generated in under 15 minutes. Does Promethease offer discounts? Not usually. However, you can upload multiple DNA raw data files at once for a reduced cost. The first upload costs $12 but simultaneous additional files only cost only $4.
Want the most comprehensive sequencing to run through Promethease?
Nebula Genomics offers Whole Genome Sequencing, providing 10,000 times more information than most genotyping based genomics tests. Nebula offers variant interpretation tools, deep ancestry, and new reports every week. This information can also be run through Promethease for additional analysis.
Getting Started with Promethease
Before we review Promethease reporting, let’s take a look at how to get started using the service. Their website first greets users with its terms and conditions. Users must agree to conditions, such as:
“I accept the risk of learning that I may be at high risk for a debilitating disease”
And “I am aware that I am strongly encouraged to discuss my Promethease report with a doctor”
After accepting the terms, users are asked to watch a tutorial video from 2016. The video can be viewed here:
Getting started takes just a few minutes, depending on the file size. Simply upload your raw DNA data (e.g. files from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, VCF, etc.). Then purchase the report, and enter your contact information.
The company generates the report, and you will receive a link to it in an email.
How to Use Promethease
In this part of our Promethease review, we will examine the provided reporting. They offer sample reports for customers to review before uploading their data and buying reports. The report results are made available through a web browser. Sections of these can also be downloaded to PDFs or exported to Excel spreadsheets.
Upon opening their results, users find a list of gene variants from their uploaded DNA file that Promethease analyzed.
Promethease reports are highly customizable. For example, users can search for specific medical conditions like AIDS or prostate cancer. Users can also filter by the number of academic references and the strength of the evidence. This is especially useful because many other DNA analysis services provide reports without explaining how they were produced.
Users can also search by keywords for specific genes, body parts, or conditions. For example, you can search for variants in the MTHFR gene or BRCA1 gene, the latter of which is closely associated with breast cancer. You can also search for keywords like eyes or cancer.
Each report result is assigned a repute that can be “good”, “bad”, or “not set.” This indicates whether the user’s DNA has a positive or negative impact on health. For example, whether specific SNPs analyzed decrease or increase the risk of a medical condition.
The report also gives each gene variant a score or “magnitude.” Magnitudes are subjective measures of how interesting the gene variant is. They indicate how important it is for the user to pay attention to the result.
For example, the sample report of Alzheimer’s shows a 2-times greater risk of the condition with a magnitude of 3.5. That would be a BAD repute, meaning that the user has a SNP that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The magnitude of 3.5 suggests that the risk increase is quite significant. Promethease suggests paying attention and possibly reaching out to a medical professional.
Users can also filter their Promethease DNA analysis reports data by category. The categories are broken up into the three subsets:
- Topics, such as height, gout, and Ashkenazi Jewish
- Medical conditions, such as alcoholism, insomnia, and kidney stones
- Clinvar Diseases, such as cleft chin, Tay-Sachs disease, and Familial Mediterranean fever
All reports include gene names and SNP IDs. If users click on them, they are taken to the SNPedia page. Here, users can review peer-reviewed research to learn more about each gene, variant, and medical condition.
Because the SNPedia database is so comprehensive, Promethease suggests going over results with your physician, genetic counselor or another medical professional. In particular, if you are concerned about a particular result.
Review of Promethease Privacy
Is Promethease safe? User DNA raw data files are deleted automatically after 45 days. Creating an account is optional. If users do not create an account, their DNA data files are deleted after 24 hours.
Will Promethease disclose your personal data to third parties? The site says it may share users’ information to third parties, such as payment processors, that help the company offer its services. It may also transfer user data in the event of another company acquisition, such as happened during the MyHeritage acquisition.
Promethease in the News
An article from 2018 published in the Seattle Times showed how a radiology resident at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas got a false positive. He tested himself on 23andMe but then submitted his raw data to Promethease and got a warning that he had a mutation linked to Lynch syndrome.
Promethease was a safe and independent computer program developed by SNPedia that promised anonymity and destruction of data within 45 days. Users then realized that it was acquired by MyHeritage in 2019.
Promethease DNA Reviews
Amazon user R. Holzle makes a thorough customer review of their experience using 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Promethease. They updated this review in 2019 after MyHeritage purchased the company. In general, the review is neutral in that the service provides useful insights on the risks of conditions.
User reviews of Promethease on Reddit compare Promethease to Xcode Life.
Pros and Cons
- Full of detailed health information
- Less expensive than most other health reporting services
- One single detailed health report generated quickly
- Transparent about scientific rigor. Can filter out weakly supported results.
- User interface not easy to understand
- Unregulated access to DNA health information can be misconstrued
- Potential for false positives due to varying degrees of research rigor
We finish our review by comparing Promethease with Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing and analysis sites. Nebula Genomics stands out compared to other genomic health reporting services. We prioritize privacy above all else. We also offer whole genome sequencing, the most advanced genetic test. It enables us to provide the most comprehensive reporting that is updated every week based on the latest research.
Do you have DNA test results from other testing sites like Ancestry or 23andMe? You can upload that data to Nebula for free. We will expand your DNA data and give you access to a detailed report.
How do we accomplish detailed reporting on genetic conditions? Our expanded reports are generated statistical models to fill in the blanks left behind by typical DNA genotyping tests. A genetic testing company like Promethease can provide information on some variants, but our expanded reports can analyze almost all variants.
We live in a time of a genomic revolution that is changing our lives. We empower our users to stay informed about cutting-edge research and learn how it affects them. We curate the latest research, personalize it based on your genomic data, and provide detailed reports through the Nebula Research Library.
We also go beyond DNA data uploads. With our 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing service, we can determine 100% of your DNA. With us, you get 10,000 times more data than with other services that, in contrast, only read 0.1% of your genome!
Here is how Nebula compares with other DNA testing companies.
|Type of Genome Reporting Service||Microarray-based genotyping & report||Microarray-based genotyping & report||Health-oriented genome analysis||Whole-Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)|
|Produced data||~ 600,000 positions in the genome||~ 700,000 positions in the genome||N/A||~ 3,000,000,000 positions in the genome|
|Compatible with other sites||Can export data and use it elsewhere||Can export data and use it elsewhere||Accepts all typical DNA testing data (e.g. 23andMe, AncestryDNA and Nebula Genomics raw data)||Can export data and use elsewhere or upload data from 23andMe/AncestryDNA to fill in gaps and learn more|
|Affiliated Companies||Yes||Yes||Owned by MyHeritage||Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing in collaboration with FTDNA|
|Target Customer||Consumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic test||Consumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic test||Consumers who are interested in detailed health reports with references||Consumers who are interested in complete DNA testing and advanced reporting|
|User interface||Highly rated||Highly Rated||Less easy to understand than competitors||Highly Rated|
|Privacy Prioritized||No||No||No||Yes (learn more)|
|Cost||$99 or $199||$99 or $119||$12+||$0, $99, $299|
Promethease vs Ancestry vs 23andMe vs Nebula Genomics
Other alternatives to Promethease you should consider are Genetic Genie, (free; for health information), GeneSight (pharmacogenomics DNA testing), Genomelink (25 traits reported for free), and Xcode Life ($20 each for fitness and health report).
Once you understand your detailed health report, many great supplement companies out there may help you lose weight and get healthy (you can read about many of them on our blog!) But be careful! There are also dangerous experimental drugs out there like SR9009 and RAD 140 that are not approved for human consumption.
Did you like our Promethease review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.