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.
January 6, 2021
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our Xcode Life Review
- Xcode Life Introduction
- Xcode Life Health Reports
- How to use Xcode Life
- Review of Xcode Life Reports
- Review of Xcode Life Privacy
- Xcode Life in the News
- Other Xcode Life Reviews
- Pros and Cons
- Nebula Genomics
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
7 Facts from our Xcode Life Review
Here is a snapshot of our Xcode Life review.
- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Products: DNA data upload for health reporting
- Reports: disease risks, nutrition, fitness; they include names of analyzed genes but not genetic variants
- Result delivery: delivered as PDF over email after ~ 10 hours
- Privacy: data not deleted per default, users must contact customer service
- Cost: $20-$99; no free analysis options
- Alternatives: Nebula Genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing, free options available; reporting based on latest scientific discoveries and advanced ancestry test reporting)
Xcode Life Introduction
Xcode Life Sciences is a genomic analysis company founded in India by former Monsanto scientist Saleem Mohammed.. Saleem has a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from the University of Nebraska.
The genomics company began developing its DNA analysis software back in 2010. It launched its first product in 2012 – a genetic test for wellness reporting. Today, the company no longer offers genetic testing. Instead, it instead offers genome analysis services for raw DNA data uploads. Its website accepts DNA data uploads and generates health and wellness DNA reports. The biotechnology company does not have any free offerings, but is compatible with DNA data from most other genetic testing services. Read more in our Xcode Life review!
Xcode Life Health Reports
The company’s catalog consists of multiple DNA health report products, including Gene Nutrition, Gene Fitness, and Gene Health. The following reports are available with the Xcode Life test:
- Gene Nutrition ($20): This report covers over 30 categories, including antioxidant needs, caffeine metabolism, and gluten sensitivity. In addition, it gives users more personalized diet recommendations (e.g. avoid saturated fats).
- Gene Health ($20): This one has over 45 categories, including Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, autism, and depression. The report gives users more information about their genetic risks of health conditions.
- Gene Fitness ($20): This report has over 15 categories, including heart capacity, endurance, and exercise motivation. The information gives highlights and recommendations on how users can change their fitness regimens.
- Gene Allergy ($20): Its 12 categories include hay fever, lactose intolerance, misophonia, and grass allergy.
- Gene Skin ($20): This report has over 20 categories, including sunspots, glycation protection, wrinkles, and B12 deficiency.
- Breast Cancer ($40): This one has over 50 categories, including BRCA1, BRCA2 markers, breast, and ovarian cancer risk. It focuses on BRCA gene status, a valuable biomarker for breast cancer.
- Carrier Status ($40): This report has over 275 categories on genetic diseases, including Marfan Syndrome, Familial Periodic Fever, and congenital heart disease.
- Methylation and MTHFR ($20): This report has over 50 categories of methylation cycle genes, including MTHFR, MTRR, CENPQ, and MFN2. Many of these genes influence vitamin levels in the body. Read more about MTHFR methylation on our blog!
- Traits and Personality ($20): This report has over 25 categories including personality, empathy, leadership potential, agreeableness, and warrior personality.
- Precision Medicine: This includes over 250 drug reports to provide information on how fast (or slow) your body metabolizes certain medications. These include painkillers, cardiology drugs, and neuropsychiatry drugs.
- No information was provided on the Xcode Life website for the ACMG report.
All Xcode Life reports are available within 24 hours.
They can also be purchased in the following bundles, often for a discounted price:
- Best Seller Pack ($49) includes nutrition, fitness, health, allergy, and skin.
- Super Pack ($89) includes nutrition, fitness, health, allergy, skin, precision medicine, and methylation.
- Mega Pack ($99) includes all 9 individual report packages.
The company appears to have previously offered ancestral reporting services. However, this option no longer appears in its shop.
It also cautions that its service is not qualified to provide direct medical advice.
How to use Xcode Life
Let’s take a look at how to get started with the process. To access individual reports and bundles, you upload your raw data. The company doesn’t offer DNA testing but is instead designed to be compatible with raw genetic data from other providers, including raw DNA file exports from Nebula Genomics and other companies. The following DNA raw data file formats are listed as compatible:
23andMe, Family Tree DNA (FTNDA), Ancestry DNA, MyHeritage DNA, Living DNA, Genes for Good, Helix, Gene by Gene, We Gene, Gencove, Vitagene, Invitae, Color, Affymetrix, Ambry Genetics, Others.
Depending on the DNA data file size, getting started takes just a few minutes. After creating an Xcode Life login, simply purchase an individual report or a bundle using a credit card or PayPal. Then upload one of the raw DNA file types (e.g. 23andMe, AncestryDNA, VCF, etc.) to the website.
Review of Xcode Life Reports
This is the central part of our Xcode Life review, where we will examine the provided reports. These are separated by category. Users can select which raw data analysis and report they want.
We used Xcode Life to order a Gene Nutrition analysis of publicly available DNA raw data.
This report is advertised with “Same Day Delivery.” It took about 10 hours for the analysis to be completed. While this is “same day,” it is worth noting that competitors, such as Genetic Genie and Promethease, provide results within just a few minutes.
However, we found that the results are easier to understand than competing sites. We received a 26-page PDF via email.
The Xcode Life Gene Nutrition report included 36 different health traits. The reports for each one start with an introductory guide. This guide starts by giving users some fun-facts about their nutrition.
For example, in this specific one, Xcode Life shares that “53% of Mexican Americans are lactose intolerant.” The next page defines some key terms, answering questions such as “What does the term ‘average’ mean in the report?”
Next, the paper goes into progressively more detail with a “Summary of Results” page. This summary begins with a pie-chart and key takeaways from the user’s genome analysis results. In this case, Xcode Life provides a diet plan. It also offers key genetic predispositions such as “Increased risk of being gluten sensitive.”
Next, the Xcode Life report summarizes all the different genetic traits that were tested. Each result includes a conclusion, such as “less likely to be lactose intolerant”.
The Xcode Life report then provides more details about each category of the analysis. Here, users can also find the list of genes analyzed for each conclusion as well as actionable insights. The level of detail ends there, however. No further details about genetic variants or genotypes are provided. The recommendations are color-coded.
Other nutrition health categories range from “Vitamin K needs” to “Tendency to prefer sweet foods”. Users can also learn about their “Weight gain tendency” and “Protein intake.” Xcode Life uses these assessments to craft the Diet Plan found on the first few pages of the report.
Review of Xcode Life Privacy
- Registration information (name, email, etc.)
- Self-reported demographic information
- User content (genetic raw data, testimonials, comments, etc.)
- Web tracking information
After receiving the Gene Nutrition report, we found it difficult to delete our uploaded data. Other sites make it easy with automatic deletion.
User DNA raw data files are not automatically deleted. Instead, users must delete raw information themselves. To remove personal information, users must send an email to the Xcode Life.
Xcode Life in the News
The company, which started in 2010, has made some headlines through the years. For example, the Deccan Chronicle featured a note in 2017. It described Xcode Life Sciences as a great contributor to Indian ancestry.
One 2018 story detailed the Indian company’s aspiration for a South Asian Genome Project for South Asian Ancestry. It often appears in financial news about this sector of the market.
Other Xcode Life Reviews
On TrustPilot, Xcode Life receives a 4.8 out of 5 stars with almost 300 reviews. The reviews focus on how Xcode Life helped users improve their fitness and nutrition. Many recorded that they got insight into certain genes, such as the MTHFR gene, which is not available from other companies like 23andMe, Ancestry, and others.
Customers also noted that the price was reasonable for the large amount of information provided in the reports from XCode Life. Reviews on Facebook give the company 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 450 reviews. Customers praised the simplicity, comprehensiveness, and explanation of reports on genes you couldn’t find elsewhere.
Pros and Cons
- Clear, easy to read reports
- Pick and choose individual health reports
- Reports delivered as a PDF and are easy to print out
- More expensive than other genome health reporting services
- Health report takes several hours to generate (at minimum). This is much longer compared with competitors
- Not transparent about the science behind the results, particularly which genetic variants were analyzed
Nebula Genomics stands out compared to other genomic health reporting services. We prioritize privacy above all else, use the most advanced testing technology, and offer comprehensive reporting.
Your Privacy is central
Nebula Genomics offers the first privacy-focused personal genomics service. Other genomics companies work with middlemen interested in purchasing your data. We do not. At Nebula Genomics, you have control over sharing your data and being compensated.
Nebula Expand gives detailed reports
One major weak point in Xcode Life’s service is the lack of detail. Admittedly, the reports are easy to read and understand. But a need for clarity should not replace a need for transparency and detail.
At Nebula, we help you learn even more about your genome. You can simply upload your data and get important details, like genetic variants, that you won’t find easily on Xcode Life. Our expanded report uses statistical models to fill in the blanks left behind by others.
Nebula believes that information is power. Therefore, you should have access to the latest peer reviewed scientific studies related to your genome and health data. Nebula Expand gives you that access with the Nebula Research Library. Our mission is to make it easy for you to understand yourself and your genome.
Whole genome analysis with Nebula Genomics
We give you the whole picture with our 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing service. It decodes 100% of your DNA. And our reports and analyses go directly to your inbox! As a result, you get 1,000 times more data than with other services, which only read 0.1% of your genome!
Here is how Nebula compares with other testing and reporting services.
|23andMe||AncestryDNA||Xcode Life||Nebula Genomics|
|Type of genetic testing||Microarray-based genotyping||Microarray-based genotyping||Data uploads for health-oriented genome analysis||Whole Genome Sequencing (30x coverage) as well as DNA data upload|
|Level of detail||High||High||Reports are comprehensive but lack scientific information, in particular genetic variants||Very high|
|Ancestry analysis||Yes||Yes||No||Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing|
|Privacy-Focused||No||No||No||Yes (learn more)|
|Cost||$99 or $199||$99 or $129||$20 – $99||$0, $99, $299|
If you are interested in genetic testing that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals, there are a lot of products to choose from. You can learn more about your options on our website.
- DNAFit (in partnership with CircleDNA)
- Fitness Genes (data upload and DNA testing kits)
- Nutrigenomix (personalized nutrition based on 70 variants)
- Vitagene (diet and health)
- Athletigen (free upload and basic report; additional tests and reports available at an additional cost)
- Genomelink (options for fitness information)
- Sequencing.com (fitness app purchased separately)
- 24Genetics (health tests)
- AthGene (30+ reports tailored to fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle)
- CircleDNA (health and wellness tests)
- HealthCodes DNA (personalized plans for wellness, nutrition, and fitness)
- Helix DNA (DNA testing and app store)
- Living DNA (well-being kits)
- myDNA (personalized fitness, diet, and medication plans)
- Noom (subscription based nutrition service)
- Nutrisystem (subscription based nutrition service)
- Orig3n (various DNA tests – no longer available)
- SelfDecode (Wellness reports)
For health information you should also check out the Promethease report (health information) and Genetic Genie (free; for health information). For diet recommendations, take a look at GenoPalate (data upload, DNA test, and diet recommendations), Everlywell (biomarkers), Personalabs, tellmeGen, and Ambry Genetics.
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 like SR9009 and RAD 140 that are not approved for human consumption.
Did you like out Xcode Life 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! Or, if you need more information, you can read more about DNA diet tests!