7 Facts from our tellmeGen Review
- Location: Valencia, Spain
- Services: Genetic testing, with separate testing options for adults and children. Provides access to genetic or nutrition counseling and medical help at extra costs
- Reports: Genetic predispositions to over 125 health conditions, inherited conditions, wellness, personal traits, ancestry data, and pharmacologic compatibility (not available to users in the United States)
- Result delivery: Reports delivered through the tellmeGen platform. Users can download their raw DNA data as a CSV format file
- Privacy: tellmeGen offers a high level of confidentiality. Connections to and from tellmeGen’s web platform use SSL encryption protocols
- Cost: $89 for one child or one adult Starter DNA kit; $149 for their Advanced option if bought directly from tellmeGen. This company offers Duo and Family test kits as bundles, which lowers the cost of every unit. Customers can also find single test kits on Amazon for about $130
- Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing with regularly updated reports and advanced ancestry reporting)
This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
August 15, 2022
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our tellmeGen Review
- Pros and Cons
- Review of TellmeGen Services and Products
- Review of TellmeGen Health Report
- Review of tellmeGen Ancestry Report
- Exploring Your Genome
- Review of tellmeGen Privacy and Data
- Other tellmeGen Reviews
- Nebula Genomics
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
Pros and Cons
- A well organized and easy to follow report
- Comprehensive health reporting
- Focus on customer service
- Virtual or in-person medical and nutrigenomic help and access to genetic specialists
- Long list of unique traits in the report
- The DNA matching part is a work in progress
- Consultation and specialist access come with an extra cost, which is not specified
tellmeGen is an autosomal DNA testing and DNA analysis company that uses microarray-based genetic mapping to provide clients with a health map and an ancestry test.
The company provides customers with information regarding their genetic health and connects clients with customized genetic services. These services include genetic counseling, nutritional counselling, and medical consultations with tellmeGen doctors and geneticists. It is important to note that the price of the DNA test does not include appointments with these specialists.
Review of TellmeGen Services and Products
tellmeGen’s technology studies more than 750,000 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) located in the exome of the genome. While this service does not look at a the entire DNA, it examines the portion currently known to be linked to health and ancestry data to identify genetic variants.
The tests allow customers to discover and understand disease risks and predispositions to disease. tellmeGen offers DNA testing kits for children (ages 0-3 years) and adults. Parents must prove parental guardianship of children through proper paperwork before guardians can perform child DNA tests.
tellmeGen offers two products: The starter kit and the advanced kit.
The offer consists of two main tiers: Starter and Advanced. The main difference between these two options (besides the price tag) is the number of aspects in the report.
In the case of the Starter kits, patients get 90 aspects of well-being, traits and ancestry, and the option to contact genetic relatives.
On the other hand, the Advanced option studies and cracks 400 aspects. This one also includes health and drug compatibility. This means that users of this tier not only get the option to try changes to avoid health issues in the future, they will also be able to reduce or remove substances with possible side effects.
How to use tellmeGen
After buying a tellmeGen DNA test kit, clients must register it.
Afterwards, clients must follow the instructions to collect a saliva DNA sample. The saliva sample must be as pure or clean as possible. To ensure this, tellmeGen recommends collection it in the morning, before taking any foods or beverages, and before the client brushes their teeth.
Alternatively, users can wait a minimum of 30 minutes after eating, smoking, chewing gum, drinking, etc. The child kit contains special buccal swabs to ensure safe and simple saliva collection.
Customers must then ship the sample to the tellmeGen testing facility in Spain. tellmeGen provides a prepaid shipping label and documentation the customer must complete to ensure the sample can pass customs.
Once mailed, tellmeGen results will be ready in 4-6 weeks.
Review of TellmeGen Health Report
The report is divided into six sections with tabs. It begins with information on the individual’s genetic predisposition to over 125 common diseases and illnesses.
The report is further broken down by symptoms and genetic risk factors for predispositions and compares these complex diseases to the average risk of a person of the same race, age, and gender. This information can help customers determine if they need to seek extra health care if needed.
The following section is a diagnosis of an individual’s inherited monogenic diseases. Such conditions are caused partly by genetic mutations and changes that can impact personal health. For example, this section may show any red flags for hereditary breast cancer or porphyria compared to typical risk. Given that these traits are heritable, this part also discusses possible effects on the health of a their children.
The third section of the Health Map shows pharmacologic compatibility, which shows how the individual will react to and process certain drugs. This acts as a starting point towards personalized medicine and, in combination with a professional medical opinion, can streamline pharmacologic healing. Unfortunately, due to FDA regulations, the company does not include this portion of the report for U.S. citizens. tellmeGen has noted that this information will become available to these clients, free of charge, in the event of loosened FDA restrictions.
The fourth section of the personalized Health Map reveals how genes affect personal traits. These include alcohol tolerance, resistance to a particular treatment, baldness propensity, and pain sensitivity. It can be helpful information to aid the individual in understanding their body and a lifestyle that helps them function optimally.
After having more data on how health and wellness are linked to genetics, the company now offers a Wellness section. It includes items such as caffeine and anxiety, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, vitamin levels, and several more. This information helps users adapt their lifestyle and diet according to what the test results reveal their metabolism is like.
The last section of the report, Ancestry, is discussed below.
Review of tellmeGen Ancestry Report
The tellmeGen report also includes ancestry information. The service refines a significant portion of your DNA variation. Then, it compares it with that of thousands of reference individuals in to different ethnic groups. The ancestry results display a map with ancestry percentages and data about their context.
Specifically, the tellmeGen report can tell individuals their relationship to 74 ethnic groups spread across eight broad geographical areas. tellmeGen does not include a DNA matching service to connect people to individuals with similar DNA and, therefore, will not help locate relatives or develop a family tree.
The Ancestry portion includes three main results, each focusing on a specific genome section.
The Maternal Lineage breaks down the mitochondrial haplogroup to describe the path taken by a user’s maternal ancestors. An interesting selling point of this portion of the results is the claim that celebrities have made their tests public. This allows users to compare their results against these famous people to find out if they share a haplogroup.
A new portion of the Ancestry tellmeGen report is the paternal lineage. The company now traces men’s Y chromosome to find your ancestors back to 250,000 years. tellmeGen keeps the celebrities’ promise for this portion too.
Another new part of the Ancestry report is the “Know your Neanderthal DNA percentage.” As the name implies, it looks into what portion of your DNA comes from the interbreeding of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens thousands of years ago. This information is part of the map that tellmeGen displays on the front of this report section.
Exploring Your Genome
tellmeGen routinely updates the databases for all portions of its report and customers to have new genetic information as it becomes available. These updates are part of the cost of the DNA test kit and provide customers with updated genetic analysis for the DNA portion tested by tellmeGen. Users may download their raw data as a .csv file.
If more information is desired, tellmeGen offers to connect clients with its in-house geneticists, nutritionists, and medical professionals to further provide health-based counseling based on DNA results. However, these services come with extra costs. You can learn more about how its prices compare to other companies on our blog.
Review of tellmeGen Privacy and Data
The Valencian company includes transparency throughout its website. This includes details on the machines and methods used to complete the DNA testing and keeping data confidential.
The kit is registered to a customer’s tellmegen registered account as an alphanumeric code. This ensures that personal information is not left vulnerable. Connections to and from the website use SSL cryptographic protocols aimed at keeping data private.
Other tellmeGen Reviews
tellmeGen is generally rated highly by customers, as seen by its 4-star rating on Amazon. Additional reviews that compare tellmeGen with 23andMe and Ancestry DNA rate it as the better option for those most concerned with health.
A review from 2018 noted that the company is very professional. It came with comprehensive results in their aim to get more information regarding genetic results and interaction with prescribed drugs. They also liked that the results were updated almost daily as new research became available.
One customer from 2019 also praised excellent customer service but had difficulty with the website. They also cited long processing times and incomplete information in their one-star review. Another downside is that you cannot upload your data to certain sites, such as Genetic Genie.
Genetic research is expanding at a rate that many DNA testing companies strive to keep up with. tellmeGen continues to improve its health-based genetic test and has increased the quality of its family history data service. The consistent updates are useful – but only for the portion of DNA that gets sequenced and evaluated. For a complete DNA test which includes these aspects and more, the gold standard has proven to be whole genome sequencing.
At Nebula Genomics, customers have an affordable 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing service. We keep up with the field of genetic research and provide our customers with DNA sequencing of the entire genome.
Nebula Genomics also provides reporting with regular updates, use-friendly tools that simplify DNA data, and complete ancestry analysis. In addition, Nebula Genomics places individuals in control of their raw data. We give the option to download data in various formats, which may then be used in alternate DNA services.
|DNA testing method||Microarray-based genotyping||Microarray-based genotyping||Microarray-based genotyping||30x Whole-genome sequencing|
|Focus on privacy||Yes||No||No||Yes (learn more)|
|Security technology used||SSL for data transfer, plus alphanumeric encryption of samples||SSL for data transfer||Unspecified||Blockchain, privacy-preserving computing|
|Continuously updated results based on new research||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Data upload options||No||No||No||Yes|
|Tools to explore data||Yes||Limited||Limited||Yes (learn more)|
|Ancestry reporting||Limited||Yes||Yes||Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing|
|Health reporting||Yes||Yes||No||Yes, with included tools to help analyze genes and genetic variants.|
|Cost||$149 – $369||$99 or $199||$99 or $119||$0, $99, $299|
If you want to look at additional at-home DNA tests based on the exome and beyond, you may also be interested in:
- 24Genetics (various tests for health, ancestry, sports, skin, pharmacogenomics, WES, and WGS)
- Ambry Genetics (clinical diagnostics)
- CircleDNA (gene sequencing service and genetic counseling)
- Dante Labs (30x whole genome sequencing, most reports are available at an additional cost)
- DNAFit (in collaboration with CircleDNA, DNAFit previously partnered with Helix DNA)
- Full Genomes (options to upload data or test for a comprehensive report)
- GeneDx (clinical testing for rare diseases)
- Helix DNA (whole exome sequencing and app marketplace)
- Invitae (diagnostics)
- Myriad Genetics (clinical diagnostics for cancer)
- PerkinElmer Genomics (WES, WGS, newborn screening, and more)
- Veritas Genetics (30x whole genome sequencing and advanced diagnostics)
Did you like our tellmeGen review? You can find more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.