7 Facts from our Vitagene Review
- Location: San Francisco, California, USA
- Products: DNA testing kit and DNA data upload
- Reports: Diet and fitness recommendations based on DNA data analysis
- DNA data access: Available
- Privacy: Had a data breach in the past
- Cost: $30 for data upload; up to $139 for DNA testing kits
- 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.
June 20, 2022
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our Vitagene Review
- Pros and Cons
- Vitagene Introduction
- Vitagene DNA Test Review and Other Products
- Review of Vitagene Privacy
- Vitagene in the News
- Other Vitagene Reviews
- Nebula Genomics
Pros and Cons
- Health & wellness recommendations
- Product tiers to choose what works best for you
- Access to an online coach
- Option to delete information
- Some Vitagene reviews call recommendations vague
- It can only analyze raw DNA files from 3 websites
- Specific information missing on its website
- History of a data breach
Vitagene (Vita Gene) is an autosomal DNA testing company. Just like many other DNA testing companies, Vitagene uses your DNA test results to produce personalized health and wellness plans. With these personal recommendations, the company wants to help its customers make better health and lifestyle informed choices and achieve their goals.
The San Francisco company was founded in 2014 by a neurosurgeon and a businessman. It later partnered with Douglas Laboratories and Pure Encapsulation to start selling personalized supplements. In 2018, the company partnered with Family Tree DNA. Learn more in our Vitagene review!
Vitagene DNA Test Review and Other Products
The products and services offered by the company include personalized reports that cost from $30 to $139 and focus on diet and lifestyle. In addition, these health plans include one or multiple of the company’s customized reports.
There’s the Vitagene Diet Report, Supplement Report, Exercise Report, Skin Report, and Ancestry Report. The company does include the disclaimer that the reports are not diagnostic DNA tests nor do they provide medical advice. Instead, they are “propensities for traits” based on the customer’s genetics.
After creating a Vitagene login, customers purchase a product and either send in a cheek swab (saliva test) to be used for a DNA test or upload raw DNA data. There is also an online questionnaire about the customer’s lifestyle and goals.
After collecting the sample, customers return it to the lab using a prepaid return envelope. The company ships to anywhere in the United States.
To generate its reports, Vitagene uses an algorithm developed by medical experts. All results are generated in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified and College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited labs. It compares customer DNA to a database of research on genomics, nutrition, and exercise. The company claims to have a scientific research database of 50,000+.
Review of Vitagene Health + Ancestry Report
This is the baseline Vitagene DNA testing kit complete with health and ancestry tests. Customers use a cheek swab to collect a sample, which the company uses to extract DNA for genetic testing. You get four reports:
Diet Report: This includes meal plan suggestions. It also provides information on things like gluten sensitivities and how the customer metabolizes fat or caffeine. In addition, the report shows MTHFR gene mutations and other SNPs in the customer’s genes that influence metabolism.
Supplement Report: These reports contain supplement recommendations like vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc., and a detailed explanation as to why, based on your genes. For example, whether sodium intake might increase your blood pressure.
Exercise Report: This report looks at your ability to build muscle and how you respond to exercise. It also suggests what types of exercise are best for your body.
Ancestry Report: Similar to other DNA websites like 23andMe and AncestryDNA, Vitagene provides ancestry DNA reports to its customers. For an additional cost, customers can access genealogy and ancestry information through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).
Aside from a press release, little information is available about how the partnership with Family Tree DNA works. Customers can use some of Family Tree DNA’s tools like the Family Finder.
Review of Vitagene DNA Health Upload Report
The DNA Health Upload Report is for someone who has already obtained genetic testing from other DNA analysis websites. Vitagene is one of the DNA sites that accept raw data from other sites as well as Vitagene raw data. You can upload raw DNA data from 23andMe, MyHeritage, or AncestryDNA. This gives you access to the four base health testing reports: diet, supplements, exercise, and ancestry.
Premium Health Report
This premium report also requires a DNA sample collection. You then get the four baseline reports, plus an additional Skin Report. This report highlights your genetic risk for things like acne or dry skin. It includes recommendations for skincare routines.
Home Health Tests
Vitagene offers a range of at-home biomarker tests for various conditions. Unlike DNA tests, these products measure your health in real time. They are administered as either blood tests via finger prick or saliva.
The results are reviewed by a physician in your state and the company is HIPAA compliant. After the sample is received in the lab, your digital results are available within a few days.
- Food Sensitivity
- Vitamin D
- HbA1c Blood Sugar
- Sleep & Stress
- Heart Health
Other Vitagene Products
Vitagene offers the services of an online coach who customers can message to ask questions about their reports. You can also download your raw DNA information as a .txt file through the dashboard.
The company previously offered Vigor and Vitality bundles. Customers received the four baseline reports as well as a 90-day supply of four customized supplements. You also got free monthly updates to reports when new research has been published. However, these products have been removed from their website.
It also use to sell supplement plans based on the results of the reports. Once again, these options are no longer available.
In 2020, Vitagene began offering a COVID-19 home test kit for $117. This product was the first FDA Emergency Use Authorized at-home COVID-19 Saliva test. Customers collect a saliva sample at home, mail the sample to the lab with a provided FedEx overnight shipping label, and receive their results within 72 hours of the lab receiving the sample.
The company offers tests for individuals, corporations, health systems, and education systems.
Interested in COVID-19 travel tests? Kurix Health and Project Screen offer special testing meeting requirements for departing and arriving in the UK. Plus, Vault Health is another company offering at home tests for organizations and individuals.
Review of Vitagene Privacy
Vitagene also promises not to share information with any third party “without your explicit consent.” It also says customers can delete their data from all the company’s servers at any time. In addition, personal information like genetic data and login credentials is protected by Security Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology.
Vitagene does use an “anonymous version” of customer information to improve its algorithm. It also says it uses “all practical legal and administrative resources to resist requests from law enforcement.” However, the company may be required to comply with valid court orders or subpoenas.
The Vitagene COVID test or other medically supervised kit results will be provided to your Independent Health Care Professional for review and then released to you. Of course, you may opt out, but then your testing kit will not be processed.
Vitagene in the News
Since the security gate that made headlines three years ago, Vitagene has improved its security. In 2019, the Los Angeles Times reported that the company left thousands of user files unprotected on public servers.
Personal customer information like emails, dates of birth, health information was publicly accessible. However, according to the company, the files were only a small fraction of its customer base. The company also said it had updated security protocols in 2018 and claimed that no sensitive financial information was compromised.
In May 2020, BusinessWire announced the launch of the first FDA-authorized saliva-based “zero contact” COVID-19 at-home test by Vitagene. It is noticeable that the product launch came only two months after the pandemic hit the Western hemisphere.
Other Vitagene Reviews
Is Vitagene accurate? There is little on Facebook and Twitter regarding Vitagene that isn’t from the company itself. Similarly, subreddits on genealogy have few references. The company has a 2.4-star review on Trustpilot with 287 reviews and 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 700 reviews.
Negative customer reviews for Vitagene focus on lengthy wait times for results and vague reports. Most customers who gave a negative review indicated that they wanted personalized steps to improve health and diet but did not get that.
Positive Vitagene reviews, on the other hand, found the suggestions and advice in the reports helpful for making lifestyle changes. They also felt the company had good customer service.
Whether these products are the best for you seem to depend on how many personalized details you are expecting. It’s important to note that Vitagene has started to offer more precise reports based on biomarkers. For example, the food sensitivity test measures your body’s immune response to 96 foods and helps guide you on the types of food that may be best to eliminate or keep in your diet.
Let’s summarize our Vitagene review. The company is one of several genetic testing companies emerging during the genomic revolution.
However, take it with a grain of salt. The recommendations are based on the likelihood that someone with that DNA will have certain traits. It isn’t a guarantee.
If you purchase a DNA kit from 23andMe or AncestryDNA, you can import your raw data to Vitagene. You will then get the diet, exercise and supplement reports for $30.
At Nebula Genomics, you can upload your DNA data for free and get an expanded DNA report. We use a process called imputation to fill in the blanks left by typical DNA tests. The result is a report with hundreds of traits and access to the Nebula Research Library. In the library, you can find the latest research and what it says about your DNA.
Furthermore, we offer a 30X Whole-Genome Sequencing service! This complete genetic test reads 100% of your DNA. That is 1,000 times more data compared to tests like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Vitagene!
Finally, at Nebula Genomics, we are building a privacy-first personal genomics service. We are developing technologies that enable our users to stay in control of their data.
Here is a comparison of Vitagene vs Nebular Genomics, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA:
|DNA Testing Method||Microarray-based genotyping||Microarray-based genotyping||Microarray-based genotyping||Whole-Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)|
|Ownership of data||DNA samples belong to the customer, but data may not||Unclear. The customer can have saliva destroyed||Unclear. The customer can delete/destroy DNA and data||Your data belongs to you|
|Focus on privacy||No||No||No||Yes (learn more)|
|Security technology used||SSL for data transfer||SSL for data transfer||Not specified||Blockchain, privacy-preserving computing|
|Data upload options||Yes||No||No||Yes. Imputation enables an expanded report|
|Free updates based on new research||Monthly, for some products||No||No||Regular updates (learn more)|
|Tools to explore data||Limited||Limited||Limited||Yes (learn more)|
|Ancestry reporting||Only with select products||Based on relatively few genetic variants||Yes (requires sharing data with other Ancestry customers)||Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing|
|Data access||Yes (.zip and .txt file)||Yes (23andMe format file)||Yes (Ancestry format file)||Yes (FASTQ, BAM and VCF files)|
|Cost||$30 – $139||$99, $149||$99, $119||$0, $99, $299|
If you are interested in genetic testing to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, there are many products to choose from. You can learn more about your options on our website including:
- DNAFit (in partnership with CircleDNA)
- Fitness Genes (data upload and DNA testing kits)
- FoundMyFitness (one-time report or lifetime updates and other perks with subscription)
- GeneFood (data upload and a personalized nutrition test)
- Genopalate (data upload and DNA testing kits)
- Nutrigenomix (personalized nutrition based on 70 variants)
- Athletigen (free upload and basic report; additional tests and reports available at an additional cost)
- Genomelink (fitness information)
- Sequencing.com (fitness app purchased separately)
- Xcode Life (fitness and health report)
- 24Genetics (health tests)
- AthGene (30+ reports tailored to fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle)
- CircleDNA (health and wellness)
- Genovate (relationship, health, fitness, and ancestry tests)
- HealthCodes DNA (personalized plans for wellness, nutrition, and fitness)
- Helix DNA (GoalGetter plan)
- myDNA (personalized fitness, diet, and medication plans)
- Noom (subscription based nutrition service)
- Nutrisystem (subscription based nutrition service)
- Promethease (health information)
If you are interested in using DNA testing to get healthier, you should also look at GenoPalate, Everlywell (biomarkers), Curology (personalized skincare), LetsGetChecked (biomarkers), Psomagen (gut health testing), Onegevity (gut health test with personalized recommendations), Viome (another gut microbiome test) and tellmeGen.
There are a lot of great supplement companies out there that 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 Vitagene review? Explore more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests! Or, if you need more information, you can read more about DNA diet tests!