Change Your Lifestyle With Your DNA
GenePlanet offers genetic health tests, from clinical DNA tests that explore your risk of genetic and hereditary conditions like cancer, to lifestyle DNA tests that uncover your predisposition to traits like metabolism and weight gain.
From cancer risk and heart health, to metabolism and lifestyle, GenePlanet tests deliver insights that help you understand exactly what your body needs (and doesn’t) for optimal function. The idea behind these tests is to inform you, so you can make changes where you need them most to get into peak condition and avoid preventable ill-health.
But is GenePlanet as good as it claims? Are the results comprehensive? Do you get actionable recommendations? Is there a good support system in place?
My friend, Tony, tested GenePlanet’s Premium Pack which includes all six lifestyle tests so we could answer these questions for you and find out whether it’s worth your time and investment (HINT: The answer is YES!)
Seven Tests, Seven Choices – Which One is Right For You?
GenePlanet offers seven different lifestyle tests, which includes six individual tests and a premium kit that offers them all in one. You can take any of the six types individually, or choose the premium pack, like we did, for the most comprehensive results.
If you know which aspects of your lifestyle you’re looking to change, then you might prefer to just choose one or two test types. If not, here’s the round-up of each test and what to expect so you can make the right choice.
Diet & Bodyweight
All of our bodies need fuel, but what works for one might not work for another. This test analyses your DNA to report on 11 different genetic predispositions that affect your diet and bodyweight, including your risk of being overweight, your response to saturated fats, your diet type, and even your perception of sweet taste.
Using six different gene analyses, this test helps you understand your genetic predisposition to risks that can affect your heart health. It looks in detail at aspects such as insulin sensitivity, omega-3 metabolism, and blood sugar levels, with personalized recommendations so you can adapt your diet and exercise regime for best results.
Metabolism and Lifestyle
Feel anxious after drinking caffeine? Bloated and sluggish after eating bread? The metabolism and lifestyle test analyzes your DNA to help you understand more about how these daily habits affect your body, so you can make informed changes. That might mean drinking coffee in the morning only, limiting your gluten intake, or learning how to better manage stress.
Skin Health and Ageing
The skin health and ageing test is one of the more in-depth kits, testing 18 different aspects of your DNA to determine your risk of stretch marks, cellulite, biological ageing, varicose veins, and even your level of skin hydration. With these insights, you can determine which skincare products you actually need by understanding which nutrients you lack.
The sports performance test analyzes various aspects of physical activity to discover which activities your body is best suited to, so you can make the most of your workouts. It tests your heart capacity, inflammation sensitivity, lean body mass, post-exercise recovery, and many more aspects to help you get the best results from your exercise regime.
Vitamins & Minerals
This DNA test reveals your levels of important vitamins and minerals so you can recognize where you have deficiencies and tailor your diet or supplement routine to suit your needs. It also analyzes your genetic predisposition towards oxidative stress with personalized recommendations to help you stop it affecting your future health.
Taking the test
For the most comprehensive results, I purchased the Premium Pack, which includes all six lifestyle tests: diet and bodyweight, heart health DNA, metabolism and lifestyle, skin health and ageing, sports performance, and vitamins and minerals.
The test arrived within a few days of purchase. It included everything Tony needed to take the test – detailed instructions, a saliva collector, ID and security code, and a prepaid envelope to return the kit.
Taking the test itself was easy – he just filled the saliva collection tube. The main thing to remember is not to eat or drink anything 30 minutes before taking the test. This is explained in the instructions and the tube comes with a line so you know exactly where to fill your saliva to.
After taking the test, we created an online account and registered the kit with the unique ID code, which only took a few minutes. The registration process required Tony’s basic personal information, such as country of residence, gender, date of birth, height, weight, and predominant ancestral background.
Even before receiving the results, the online dashboard gave my friend a personalized, initial health score. This changed as we entered information like waist circumference and resting heart rate, so we could see if his BMI was too high, for example. Actually, you can fill out the lifestyle questionnaire for a high-level look at your health habits without even buying any of the DNA kits.
Standout Features of GenePlanet
Free 30-Minute Call With a Specialist
You get to discuss the results of your tests with one of GenePlanet’s sports and nutrition specialists. The person you speak to will walk you through your results. Additionally, they help you work out a plan to integrate your personalized recommendations into your daily routine.
Choice of Lifestyle DNA Tests
While the premium package combines all of GenePlanet’s available lifestyle DNA tests to give you a comprehensive look at your health, you can also choose to take individual tests. This is great for those who only want to explore one or two elements. For example, if you already know you’re predisposed to weight regain and already combat it effectively, you don’t need that test. But, you could also feel anxious or moody or experience bloating at certain times of the day, in which case you’d want to take the metabolism test. Or maybe you can’t figure out why you’re lacking energy or your hair is dull and brittle – in which case, the vitamin and mineral test would be your first choice.
Free Health Score
Even if you don’t buy one of GenePlanet’s test kits, you can still complete their free health score that gives you basic insights into your current health and provides some actionable advice. Obviously, you don’t get access to a sports and nutrition counselor and the results are only as accurate as the information that you put in (so do yourself a favor and be brutally honest), but still, it’s definitely a useful tool.
More Than Lifestyle DNA Tests
Alongside the six lifestyle DNA kits, GenePlanet also offers a variety of other tests, including a heart health blood test that checks seven markers to ascertain your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
GenePlanet offers clinical DNA tests that reveal whether you carry genetic variations that increase your risk factors for certain diseases. There are two tests available – NIPT (non-invasive prenatal test) and cancer screening. The first analyzes for trisomies present at birth, while the cancer screening test analyzes up to 49 genes to determine your genetic predisposition for specific cancers.
Comprehensive Results in Two Weeks
Although GenePlanet advises your results can take up to a month, I was pleasantly surprised when Tony got his results in just two weeks. Plus, the tracking with the prepaid envelope meant we could track the DNA kit and see when it reached the laboratory.
To view his results, we logged onto the GenePlanet dashboard where all six lifestyle tests are displayed. From here, we could click into each test individually to view results and recommendations.
All of your results are color-coded, which makes it easy to see which areas you should be concerned about or which habits you need to change first. For example, if your blood sugar is considerably high, it’ll be color-coded pink.
As you can see here, from the Diet and Body Weight test, my friend was identified as being at higher risk of being overweight and more likely to regain weight. We were also able to filter these results so we could see which areas we needed to pay close attention to.
You can then click on these factors to read more about what they mean and, most importantly, see what actions you need to take. Tony was advised to drink more water, avoid empty calories, and develop healthy eating habits to maintain a desirable weight and stop him piling on the pounds.
While this is, theoretically, “actionable advice”, it’s a bit basic. We all need to drink more water, make healthy food choices, and avoid “empty” calories. This definitely isn’t Earth-shatteringly insightful or even particularly helpful. But perhaps it acts as a reminder to those of us who normally choose to look the other way.
If you want to learn more about the science side of things, you can. Here, Tony could see which of his genes were tested for weight loss regain, alongside his result. Plus the interesting fact included in your report just makes the whole DNA testing experience all the more entertaining. Who knew you should only step on the scales on Wednesdays?
With many of the other test results, the personalized recommendations are more helpful and insightful and, generally, pretty easy to integrate into your regular daily routine.
Tony’s results show he has a higher tendency toward feeling hungry but a low sensitivity to inflammation. So his recommendations indicated that he could help control this urge by drinking water or eating a piece of fruit 15 minutes before a meal and that he should increase his fiber intake with a range of high-quality carbohydrates.
The results also showed he had low levels of zinc and vitamin B6, so needs to incorporate more foods rich in each vitamin and mineral or, if that’s not possible, add a suitable supplement.
Take a look at this sample of personalized recommendations:
Other Tests to Consider
- Living DNA is our top pick for DNA kits for diet and fitness. Unlike GenePlanet, Living DNA only offers one complete test – the Wellbeing kit. The bundle is comparatively cheap and includes six different tests. It places a greater emphasis on fitness insights than Gene Planet and costs less, but doesn’t offer the same level of support. Find out more about Living DNA in our review.
- DNAfit analyzes your overall health and diet to provide you with tailored advice about losing weight and optimizing your diet and nutrition. The cost is a little higher than GenePlanet’s (if you purchased the two individual kits), though it’s perhaps more in-depth than GenePlanet in terms of your results and insights.
How Does GenePlanet’s Pricing Compare?
Individually, GenePlanet’s lifestyle DNA tests are priced quite cheaply compared to its competitors. Overall, it offers good value for money, but you can get more in-depth results elsewhere if you need them, though you’ll be paying extra.
Each of the fitness and nutrition tests from Orig3n would cost you considerably more individually – as would the bundle if you purchased both together (even with the discounted price). And Orig3n doesn’t offer anything that you won’t get with GenePlanet.
While DNAfit’s tests are slightly more expensive, the depth of detail you get accounts for the extra dollars. For example, with the Diet Fit DNAfit kit, you receive dietician coaching and a genetically guided MealPlanner. Whereas GenePlanet only offers you a few detailed recommendations on how to change your nutrition. So it all depends on the level of detail you really need.
Living DNA offers a cheaper diet and fitness bundle with a greater focus on fitness, but no access to a sports and nutrition consultation.
You can save money with GenePlanet’s Premium Pack. Though it’s more than triple the price of one of their individual tests, it includes all six lifestyle DNA kits in one. A prepaid envelope is included, and the pack only requires a single, one-off payment, so there are no hidden costs or monthly fees.
Friendly Response, But Room For Improvement
Support-wise, there’s an extensive list of FAQs on GenePlanet’s website which will answer many of the questions you have about the service. Here, you can learn about genetics, your submission, results delivery, and even how the company handles your personal data.
For any other questions you have, there’s an online ticketing system or a number you can call. Tony didn’t call the support team, but decided to use the online form.
After submitting his sample and following the tracking information, it appeared the laboratory had received his sample, but his online dashboard hadn’t been updated. So he contacted customer service.
He received a reply three days later. While the customer support agent was friendly and helpful, three days is a long time to wait for a response to such a simple enquiry, especially considering many other DNA services offer instant live chat support. However, it should be noted that this was during the COVID-19 pandemic, which we all know was an extraordinary circumstance, so that may explain the delay in response.
Despite the waiting times, the response was helpful and reassuring.
DNA Results for Better Health and Habits
If you’re looking to learn more about how to optimize your diet, what sports your body is most suited to, or whether you’re deficient in any vitamins and minerals, GenePlanet is a good choice, overall. Most results come with personalized, actionable recommendations about how to change your lifestyle to maintain optimal health. However, I found some advice to be a little bit basic. The kits are moderately priced and the premium pack, at less than half the price of all the individual tests, is very good value, particularly with the 30-minute call with a sports nutritionist included in the price.
How accurate is GenePlanet?
GenePlanet’s results are highly accurate and performed under the highest quality of standards. Each test analyzes specific genes that are appropriate to that lifestyle habit, using genetic markers that have been proven scientifically to have an effect on your body.
Your results tell you exactly which genetic markers GenePlanet analyzed and how they impact your body so you can see why they’re important.
You should remember, though, that lifestyle DNA tests are designed to be educational and help you take preventative action towards your daily habits. They’re not intended to diagnose diseases, so it’s advised to take your results to a healthcare professional if you’re looking for a medical diagnosis.
How long does it take to receive results from GenePlanet?
It takes approximately one month to receive your GenePlanet results and you’ll be notified by email as soon as your results are available, although Tony received his in two weeks.
What can I learn from taking a GenePlanet test?
GenePlanet’s lifestyle DNA tests educate you about your everyday habits so you can see how different aspects of your life affect your body and, most importantly, make changes where you need to. You can find out information such as:
- Your skin’s characteristics and vitamin needs
- Whether you’re at risk of being overweight or may struggle to lose weight
- Any supplements you need in your diet
- How you digest alcohol, caffeine, lactose and gluten
- How your body reacts to stress
- What exercise regime is best for your body
- Your overall heart health and predisposition to risks such as high cholesterol or blood sugar
Should I take the individual lifestyle tests or the Premium Pack?
This very much depends on what you want from the tests. If you’re just looking for help with one area of your life, it may be best to just take one test. For example, if you need help with losing weight, you may decide to only take the Diet and Body Weight test. Or, you may want to learn how to optimize your fitness regime and opt for the Sports Performance test.
For the most comprehensive results or if you want to assess all of your everyday habits, it’s best to choose the premium pack because this includes all six lifestyle DNA tests.
What is GenePlanet’s Health Score check?
The Health Score test is a questionnaire based on your lifestyle and body measurements. It asks questions about your nutrition, exercise regime, body weight, waist circumference, alcohol intake, stress levels, and other lifestyle questions.
Once complete, the questionnaire gives you an overall health score which is a quick, high-level indication of where you sit on the ‘healthy’ scale. It highlights anything in the red zone that indicates you should change, but it doesn’t give you any recommendations. You can take this test for free, so it only gives away limited info. That said, it’s a good way of seeing whether you want to purchase any of the DNA tests first.