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SelfDecode Review: What You Need To Know Before You Buy
Date of Content: November 9, 2023
Written by: Avanthika Nityanand
Reviewed by: Maarit Tiirikainen, PhD
SelfDecode is a company that specializes in genetic testing and analysis. They use artificial intelligence (AI), personal genetic data, and various research databases to provide insights into your wellness. Founded in 2016, SelfDecode aims to help individuals understand their genetic makeup and how it can influence their health.
For customers who choose their most comprehensive plans, SelfDecode provides over 200 analytical reports detailing genetic health and traits. Additionally, the company offers personalized recommendations based on scientific research and individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). For instance, if someone is at high risk for anxiety and has specific SNPs on the FAAH gene, SelfDecode might recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy as a potential intervention.
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SelfDecode also offers lab testing services through a program named SelfDecode Labs. This program allows individuals to monitor their health and receive guidance on addressing potential genetic concerns. Customers can upload existing DNA files or provide a new sample to SelfDecode. Furthermore, the company encourages customers to participate in health surveys, which aids their AI partner, Decody, in learning associations between lifestyle choices, genetic risks, and lab data to enhance personalized recommendations.
Upon receiving their genetic analysis, customers get an action plan tailored to their genetic makeup and current health status. This plan includes a Fitness and Nutrition report that outlines ideal diet and exercise routines based on genetic predispositions. Additionally, customers can opt into various programs such as health coaching, one-time genetic counseling, and personalized supplements at an extra cost.
For those who choose the more expensive Premium Insights plan, additional features become available, including access to SelfDecode’s blog SelfHacked, a comprehensive SNP database, a SNP & Gene Explorer tool, a one-on-one consultation with a health practitioner, and upcoming features such as Disease Predisposition Reports and Ancestry reports.
How It Works
Your DNA is extracted from a saliva sample or you can upload your raw data from companies like 23andMe. This genetic information is then compared to extensive, scientifically vetted databases to identify the specific SNPs in your chromosomes. These SNPs help provide tailored health recommendations.
List of DNA Raw Data Providers Accepted By SelfDecode
- Circle DNA
- Dante Labs
- Family Tree
- Genes For Good
- Living DNA
- Map My Genome
- Nebula Deep & Ultra Deep
- Nutrition Genome
- Your Genomic Resource
SelfDecode offers three different initial price plans with two main tiers: Health Insights and Premium Insights. Each of these provides access to various levels of information and programs. The differences and similarities between these two plans are detailed below.
Cost (DNA upload)
Cost (with DNA kit)
What's Included in What?
Genetic Testing and Sequencing
Access to Health Reports
Personalized Health Recommendations
SNP & Gene Explorer Tool
Lab Analyzer Tool
Access to SelfHacked & SelfHacker Reports
One-on-one Consultation with a Health Practitioner
Disease Predisposition Reports
Yes (In development)
Price (raw data upload)
Price (with DNA Kit)
Health coaching consultations
One free with Premium Insights
One free with Premium Insights
More About SelfDecode Labs
To assist users in monitoring their phenotypes concerning their genetic risk factors, SelfDecode offers a range of blood tests through their storefront.
SelfDecode provides a total of 355 different tests that fall into three main categories:
- Lab Tests: These tests are conducted in a laboratory setting and focus on a single biomarker.
- Lab Panels: These tests assess multiple biomarkers simultaneously to provide a more comprehensive overview of the individual’s health.
- Home Test Kits: These kits allow individuals to conduct tests in the comfort of their own homes.
For the lab tests and lab panels, individuals will need to visit a Quest Diagnostics laboratory.
SelfDecode offers different types of reports like Health reports, Disease reports, Trait reports, Biohacker reports, and Personalized blogs (SelfHacked).
Health Reports provide information about your health, including mental and physical aspects. This report can help you understand how your body processes micronutrients, your predisposition to health conditions, and other health-related traits. These reports, based on the analysis of specific genetic markers, are associated with particular health outcomes.
List of Health Report Categories & Traits
Anxiety, inflammation, stress, low mood, brain fog, attention, mood swings, psychological trauma, BDNF, addiction, alcohol addiction, tobacco addiction, DRD2 (dopamine), COMT (warrior versus worrier) obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and serotonin.
Heart & Blood Vessels
High blood sugar, heart health, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, varicose veins, lipoprotein (a), palpitations, and artery hardening.
An underactive thyroid, overactive thyroid, SHBG, testosterone, MDHEA, oxytocin, estradiol, and cortisol.
Irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, gut inflammation, acid reflux. H. pylori infection, peptic ulcers, celiac disease, C. difficile infection, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, indigestion, gastrointestinal infection, gut microbiome diversity, constipation, and fatty liver.
Diet & Nutrition
There are too many to list individually here. But this category includes vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, and K; minerals (12); fats and fatty acids (11); amino acids and protein (16); food, mineral, and other allergies and sensitivities (12); MTHFR; CoQ10; carnitine; carbohydrates; and eating disorders.
Insomnia, sleep quality, sleep apnea, deep sleep, and daytime sleepiness.
Bone, Joint, & Muscles
Joint pain, joint inflammation, bone health, gout, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Overweight, hypoglycemia, HbA1c, lactate, metabolic rate, longevity, insulin resistance, visceral fat, and ketone bodies.
Immune Function & Inflammation
Allergies, IL-6, IL-17, neutrophils, and yeast infection.
Kidneys & Urinary Tract
Kidney health, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, overactive bladder, and eGFR.
Asthma, lung health, and sinus congestion.
Sexual dysfunction, female infertility, PCOS, painful periods, endometriosis, menstrual cycle length, irregular periods, heavy periods, and uterine fibroids.
Bilirubin, ALT, creatinine kinase, platelets, alkaline phosphatase, red blood cells, white blood cells, eosinophils, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, hematocrit, ferritin, blood urea nitrogen, anemia, creatinine, total protein, albumin, uric acid, triglycerides, hemoglobin, AST, basophils, blood calcium, RDW, fasting glucose, MCHC, IGF-1, MCV, and monocytes.
Arsenic, lead, mercury, air pollution sensitivity, mold sensitivity (airborne), and cadmium.
Psoriasis, acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, vitiligo, and heavy sweating.
Pain & Fatigue
Chronic pain, fatigue, shoulder and neck pain, migraines, headache, back pain, chronic Lyme, and restless legs.
Eyes, Ears, & Mouth
Tinnitus, gum disease, canker sores, cavities, vertigo, hearing loss, teeth grinding, and nearsightedness.
Traits ReportsTrait reports focus on observable physical or behavioral traits (phenotypes) like your reaction to caffeine, your likelihood of balding, and whether you perceive the taste of cilantro as soap-like. These reports explore the genetic basis of various traits and characteristics that may not have direct health implications but are part of what makes you unique.
Disease reports provide information on genetic predispositions to specific diseases. Before accessing these reports, users must agree with the SelfDecode terms of service. Customers should also agree to review the information in the report with the help of a doctor.
Other Tools And Reports
SelfDecode’s SelfHacked blog is an online resource that provides information and insights on a wide range of health and wellness topics, backed by scientific research. The blog covers a variety of subjects including genetics, health conditions, nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle interventions that can impact health and well-being.
The SelfHacked blog is designed to be a comprehensive resource that helps individuals understand the science behind different health-related topics and make informed decisions about their health. The articles are written by health and science professionals and are extensively researched to ensure accuracy and reliability.
The blog is part of the broader SelfDecode platform, which aims to empower individuals with personalized health insights based on their genetic data. Access to the SelfHacked blog is included in SelfDecode’s Premium Insights plan, providing users with an additional resource to help them understand their health and optimize their well-being.
Lab Test Analyzer Tool
The Lab Test Analyzer Tool allows users to input their lab test results and receive personalized interpretations based on their genetic data and the latest scientific research. This tool helps users understand what their lab test results mean for their health and provides actionable recommendations to improve or maintain optimal health. It can provide insights into nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and other health-related issues that may be identified through lab tests.
SNP & Gene Explorer Tool
The SNP & Gene Explorer Tool is designed to help users explore their genetic data in-depth. SNPs are variations in a single base pair of DNA that can influence health, traits, and disease risk. The SNP & Gene Explorer Tool allows users to search for specific SNPs or genes, learn about their functions, and understand how they might impact their health. It provides detailed information on specific SNPs, including their associated health conditions, traits, and relevant scientific research. This tool is helpful for users interested in diving deep into their genetic data and learning more about how specific genetic variants may influence their health.
SelfDecode Privacy Measures
SelfDecode prioritizes customer privacy and security in its handling of genetic data. Here are some of the measures in place to protect users:
- Sample Destruction: After analyzing the DNA, the lab destroys saliva samples to prevent unauthorized use.
- Pseudonym Option: Users concerned about privacy can use a pseudonym or initials when submitting genetic information.
- Data Deletion: Users can request the removal of their information from the SelfDecode database at any time.
- Opt-Out Option: Users can opt out of surveys, lab reports, uploads, and email notifications for additional privacy.
- Ownership of Data: Users own their genetic data and can access and download raw data and reports at any time.
- Employee Access: Only trusted and vetted employees have access to the site’s backend, and there are dedicated teams for upholding user privacy.
- Security Standards: SelfDecode uses modern security standards and advanced encryption methods to protect user data.
- Consent for Research: Users must consent to participate in research conducted by SelfDecode. If users choose to participate, their information is anonymized or aggregated to remove any personal identifiers.
Overall, SelfDecode takes multiple steps to ensure the privacy and security of user data while providing users with complete control over their genetic information.
If your focus is more on your personal health aspects, LifeDNA might be a worthy alternative. We provide comprehensive health insights and actionable recommendations, offering a more holistic approach to DNA analysis.
Why Choose LifeDNA?
LifeDNA has emerged as a prominent option for analyzing 23andMe raw data, owing to a combination of unique offerings and a commitment to personalized wellness. Here is why many regard LifeDNA as the best option for making the most of your 23andMe raw data:
- Holistic Approach to Wellness: Unlike many other platforms that focus strictly on health-related risks or ancestry, LifeDNA adopts a holistic approach. We analyze genetic data to offer personalized optimizations for nutrition (including a customized grocery list!), skin care, vitamins & supplements, wellness, personality & cognition, and fitness. This range lets users get a complete picture of their wellness needs based on their DNA.
- Product Recommendations: LifeDNA goes beyond just providing insights. We offer specific product recommendations, skincare ingredients, or supplements tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. It makes our service actionable, allowing users to make immediate changes based on their results.
- Data Security: LifeDNA places a high emphasis on protecting user data. Our commitment to privacy ensures that users can trust the platform with their sensitive genetic information.
- User-Friendly Reports: LifeDNA reports are easy to interpret. They are designed to be accessible to the layperson without compromising on the depth and accuracy of the information.
- Continual Updates: As genetic research evolves, so does LifeDNA’s platform. Users can expect their reports and insights to be updated with the latest scientific findings.
- Dedicated Research and Development: LifeDNA invests in research to continually refine its algorithms, ensuring the insights provided basis of cutting-edge science.
- Educational Resources: LifeDNA also provides ample resources for users to understand their genetic makeup better. This education-first approach demystifies the complex world of genetics, making it approachable and actionable for everyone.
- Scientific rigor: To create an unmatched commitment to scientific rigor, LifeDNA partners with CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited, and HIPAA-compliant laboratories.
Further, if you do not have 23andMe raw data, LifeDNA provides that too. Start your personalized wellness journey with LifeDNA’s state-of-the-art DNA kits here.
LifeDNA offers a basic DNA raw data analysis package to kickstart your journey. Users with raw data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc., can access 120+ traits across Nutrition and Allergy, Vitamins and Supplements, Fitness, Sleep, and Skin.
*Understanding your genetics can offer valuable insights into your well-being, but it is not deterministic. Your traits can be influenced by the complex interplay involving nature, lifestyle, family history, and others.
Our reports and suggestions do not diagnose or treat any health conditions or provide any medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any major lifestyle changes or if you have any other concerns about your results.