What to do with your 23andMe raw data

You’ve spit in the little tube, mailed it off to 23andMe, and finally have your results available. Yay!  After playing around with all the fun ancestry information on 23andMe, you should download your data and dig into finding out more about yourself.

Seriously, the data is yours, and you really should go download the raw data file and keep it safe.

What now? You can use your genetic data to get a better picture of how your body works and what diet choices may work better for you. Disclaimer: 23andMe doesn’t guarantee the accuracy of the raw data file and they let you download it for informational purposes. If anything rare or really bad pops up in your genetic data, I suggest using common sense and getting a second option.

Start with this website!  There is a ton free of information here, and it is based on research studies.  Click the links in each article to access your 23andMe results.

Other websites to check out when you are finished reading through everything here:

1. Promethease and codegen.eu:  Both offer reports that you can run on your 23andMe results which compare your SNPs with those listed in www.snpedia.com. These both can point to issues for which you may be genetically susceptible. It is a good starting point to let you know what to look into, but it can also be overwhelming to know which information is truly important. I highly suggest that you spend the time to read through the additional information and the research studies that the reports link to; it is often overwhelming to see cancer or a bad disease pop up, but often when you look at the study you will find that the increase in risk is very small.

The Promethease report is $5 and gives a nicely formatted report that is easy to navigate.  The Codegen.eu report is free and has similar information to Promethease, based on snpedia.com along with links to research studies.

Keeping your genetic data private Be sure that you read the privacy policies and know what you are agreeing to before you upload your raw data file all over the internet. I’ve ended up removing a couple of suggestions from this page because of their privacy policies and subsequent use of people’s data to sell them products. For me, it was a bit disconcerting to find out that the company had kept my genetic data from a free report that I got four years ago, and then they partnered up with a supplement company that was offering me gene-specific products based on my data file.

2. If you have a specific topic that you are interested in (and it isn’t covered here on this site :-), SNPedia.com is a really good starting point.  It is a user-edited resource with links to research papers on genetic variants.  Pubmed.gov is the NIH searchable database for medical research studies. The terminology in research papers can be daunting at first, but you have the whole internet at your fingertips, so there is no excuse not to just look up the words that you don’t know.

There are also lots of blogs and forums giving suggestions and protocols for certain polymorphisms. They may be a good starting point for your research. A word of caution though is that you should always check the sources and see where the author is getting their information.  Don’t just blindly follow what someone says on “the Facebook” :-)

3. Methylation Pathway Analysis:  This free report gives a lot of background information on methylation cycle issues.  It is based on the work of Dr. Amy Yasko, who is an expert in molecular biology and has written several books on autism.  Dr. Yasko’s website has a wealth of information on genetics and methylation.  She has shared much of her research openly and has one of her books available on her website to read for free.
If you are concerned about the privacy of uploading your data file to the website, you can also kind of DIY it by looking at her sample report, which has a lot of good background information in it. You would need to look up the rs id numbers in your 23andMe data (go to Tools, Browse Raw Data), but you should be able to figure out your results.

4.  Paid websites (again – actually read their privacy policy and understand what you are agreeing to):

  • StrateGene – $45.  Gives you a report of what your polymorphisms are for methylation pathways.  They recommend working with a physician to interpret the report.
  • LiveWello – $19.99  When you upload your 23andMe data, you can see the major and minor alleles for a bunch of SNPs as well as links to snpedia.com and people’s questions and comments about that gene. There are links to practitioners who you can hire.
  • Sorry that this list is getting shorter! I removed a couple of websites that I am no longer comfortable with either due to their privacy issues or due to a lack of confidence in their content.

If you have suggestions for other websites, please add them in the comments below.

updated 5/2018

44 Replies to “What to do with your 23andMe raw data”

  1. Hello, Сan you add option of using the service ch3enko.com , if you would appreciate its capabilities and ease of use of the information. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation of this website. Looks very interesting — but I worry about the security of my genetic information. This may be a website to come back to in the future when they have all the kinks worked out and a more legit looking privacy policy. I applaud the concept and hope that the devloper / geneticists can raise enough through their kickstarter to put together a secure site.

      1. What’s the worry actually? It seems it’s one of the only sites that don’t store the genetic information (after 2 weeks it says). And definetly the only open-source option, so you can audit yourself

  2. Is there a site you can take your dna and your partner’s and get a probability of traits of your child?

  3. foundmyfitness.com has a free analysis tool for 23andme data. The philosophy with their limited reporting is to only report on concerns that you can mitigate with diet, lifestyle and/or supplementation. My only criticism is some ‘biggies’ like MTHFR are not in the report (as far as I am aware).

  4. Single? Chemistry is important, RIGHT?
    Get some help from DNA Romance, it’s matchmaking based on science and it’s free to try http://www.dnaromance.com
    Now accepting raw DNA data from Ancestry.com, 23andMe, ftDNA, MyHeritage,……with many more file formats to come

  5. Hi! Can you please list service from Xcode Life Sciences? They have very firm policies on client data confidentiality. Please do go through the page “https://www.xcode.in/23andme-raw-data-upload” for information on the traits and panels they cover.

  6. Is the “Ancestry Only” data useful at all (under the new v.5) for getting health data from these other avenues? Or do you have to buy the full kit from 23&me to get useful results?

    1. I think the Ancestry Only data is still useful from the new v.5 format. I think about 2/3 of what I cover in my blog posts is covered on the new chip, and I’m in the process of (slowly) going back through and indicating which version (v.4 and/or v.5) each blog post covers. And going forward, I’m going to be covering some SNPs that are only available on the v.5 chip.
      Hope this helps!
      Debbie

  7. So would I basically get the same info with my raw data from 23andme’s ancestry only kit if I just input that into one of the suggested services above? And save $150?

    1. The raw data file is the same from 23andMe whether you order the Ancestry only option or the Health and Ancestry option. You can upload that raw data file to a variety of different places (some free, some that cost $), and get various different health reports. None of these are exactly the same health information that 23andMe offers. But pretty much all of the health reports from anywhere are based on scientific studies that are publically available. You can use the raw data yourself through reading through journal articles on the topics that you are interested in. http://www.snpedia.com is another great website to use if you are searching for specific health topics.
      Lots of options for you!
      Debbie

  8. Thanks for all the valuable information on this website. I’ve been a doctor for 35 years and have been into genetic medicine for five and am appalled that most doctors are still ignoring this information and leaving patients struggling to find answers – which are often the wrong answers.

    I wrote a book which reviews the importance of genetic health reports and many of the companies offering this service: how many genes they test, the nature of the report (nutrition only, selling supplements, etc) and price. It’s free as an ebook on Amazon and is called Genetic Health Reports. I’m not trying to hock my book but get this information out to the medical community and public.
    Best, Tom Ballard, RN, ND

    1. Thanks so much for adding your book information here. I’ve had several people ask for book recommendations and hadn’t had a good resource to recommend. I’m off to Amazon to download your book!
      Debbie

      1. Great. I hope you find my book helpful. I have another one coming out later this year. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.
        Also, If you’re looking at other genetic report services, consider including mine, http://www.NaturalDNASolutions.com. It is more expensive than most ($149) but it’s also much more comprehensive and was developed to save doctors and patients hours of research. What I found was that patients are spending many hours researching their DNA, learning genetics, trying to figure out solutions for their health problems. To address this I founded Natural DNA Solutions (NDS) four years ago. It’s unique in that each genetic health report is individualized. It looks at 1400 genes using data from 23andme or Ancestry.com. It begins with a genetics 101 section, then describes the function of the genes in question, lists the possible health consequences of gene variations (SNPs), and then focuses on the genes that are the most likely problem for the patient. Most importantly, the report includes treatment options – nutrition, supplements, detoxification, and activities such as meditation, exercise, stress reduction. NDS reports are usually 120-150 pages long. So, while the price is higher, it saves hours of research and includes valuable treatments based on my 35 years in practice. Also, if you’re interested in selling NDS report services, I we can discuss discount pricing for you. Meanwhile, thanks again for this fine site and spreading the word about genetic medicine. Best, Tom

        1. Hi Tom,
          I just downloaded your book, too and am looking forward to reading it (and getting my genetic data in February!). Do you interpret data from Genes for Good?

          1. Hi Alissa,
            No, sorry, I can only process the data from 23andme or Ancestry.com, both of which have large raw data bases. Genes for Good is for research purposes.

            Hope this helps,
            Tom

  9. I recommend http://www.xcode.in. It is moderately priced and delivers customize-able genetic health reports within 24 hours. I have found the information gleaned there to be integral to my diet, supplementation, and exercise routine and I think it would be beneficial for so many people to do. Well worth it!

    Laurel Jimenez, USA

    1. Hi Jeanette,
      There are several places that will run their own DNA tests and give you reports on either diet or exercise. DNA fit is one, but I haven’t used it myself to recommend it.
      I’m actually working now on a ‘report’ format that will take your 23andMe data and consolidate it with all the diet research studies that I have articles about on this site already.

      The hard part of recommending some of the reports that I’ve seen other sites produce about diet or exercise is that the research really isn’t as specific as the reports make it seem. There isn’t a lot of research that says, for example, “if you have SNPs A, B, and C you should eat these foods”. The research is more along the lines of “if you have this certain SNP and are of this specific population, then saturated fat in the top quartile of consumption will raise your risk of heart disease by a small amount.” This doesn’t make for a cut and dried recommendation to cut out all saturated fats, but is more of a ‘heads up’ to keep an eye on it if test results are indicating heart disease risk factors.

      This is turning into a long-winded explanation of my frustration with other sites that over-hype a lot the genetic studies, coupled with my own struggles to create a report format that distills down a huge amount of information into something readable, but still with real information.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Debbie

  10. Thank you Debbie so much for this valuable information and thank you Commenters for your valuable suggestions and comments. Does the raw data in 23andme provide gene variants (mutation) information on circadian clock related genes such as CRY1, DEC2, PER3, CLOCK (gene variants rs1801260, rs3816358 listed here helped start my research Debbie) and if so, which genetic reporting services website can interpret the raw data? I have Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder (and had triple negative breast cancer) and I would really like an analysis of these genes. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Claire,
      I have a couple of blog posts on here about circadian rhythm and sleep genes:
      http://www.geneticlifehacks.com/weight-loss-genetics-circadian-rhythm-genes/ (Covers CRY, CLOCK, PER, BMAL1…)
      http://www.geneticlifehacks.com/genetics-of-sleep-disturbances/ (has info on delayed phase sleep disorder in Asian populations)
      Additionally, you could check on snpedia.com: https://snpedia.com/index.php/Sleep_disorder and then search through research studies on http://www.pubmed.gov.
      Debbie

  11. If you have non-European ancestry, mainly Asian/Indian, this is the best test you can take. They used to be small, but now their business is rivaling those like AncestryDNA and 23andMe.
    The results were a surprise for me as I found out that I am less than 50% European and I found a lot about my non-European ancestry.

    Valentin Coteanu – Romania

  12. You wrote a great blog article about the different ways people can use their raw DNA to learn more about themselves. I’m wondering if you’d be open to mentioning and/or reviewing our company Gene Heritage in this article, or any other page on your website that you think is suitable.

    If you’re open to this idea, I can provision a free Individual Report as well as a free Parent-Child upgrade for you to check out.

    A bit about Gene Heritage:

    We want to give AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA customers a way to learn more about their genes and traits in a format that’s both entertaining and informative. Currently, we report on eye color, earwax type, armpit odor, lactose intolerance, and Asian Flush, as well as on taste sensitivity to saccharine and certain cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. We report on smell sensitivity to a whole bunch of odorants including rose oil, violets, leaf alcohol, aspagusic acid waste, and a male pheromone. On top of this, our reports identify the ancient origins of a customer’s genes; we indicate whether a customer’s various alleles have been around for tens of thousands of years or derive from more recent mutations occurring in Europe, Asia, Eurasia, and Africa. With our Parent-Child upgrade, customers can see how genes have been passed on from parents to a child.

    Instead of bombarding customers with loads of unintelligible data that oftentimes derives from dubious research, our approach is to carefully comb through the genetic study literature to curate reports that we assess to be scientifically reliable. We clearly state whether a gene has a major, moderate, or minor influence on a particular trait. There are a whole bunch of other influences on traits aside from genes, including dietary, microbial, and lifestyle factors. It’s important to us to paint a true and honest picture of just how much or little a gene influences a trait.

    As far as future plans, we hope to:

    1) Release a Grandchild Report that illustrates how genes are passed down through 3 generations of grandparents, parents, and child. The Grandchild Report will show what percentage of DNA a grandchild inherited from each grandparent.

    2) Research and add more genes and traits to Gene Heritage, especially multigene traits like skin color, red hair, hair color, baldness, and height.

    3) Add even more ancient origins for the genes we report on.

    Please let me know if you’re open to reviewing Gene Heritage on your website.

    Thank you,

    Joseph Silver,
    Gene Heritage

    1. Hi Joseph,

      I would encourage you to read through the rest of my website before promoting your paid product on it :-)

      I agree that the topics in the paid reports you have available are interesting. In fact, my website contains already contains all that information for FREE. No worries – I’m not suggesting that your new paid product is using the information that has been available on my website for several years.

      As you read through the articles on my website, you will also find that my website is dedicated to combing through genetics research studies and curating the information for my readers. And you will see that I actually link to all of these studies for users to go and read the information for themselves.

      For anyone wanting this information:

  13. Hi Debbie,

    Genomapp is an app that analyzes DNA raw data from main DNA kit providers (23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, Genes for Good etc). Being an app allows us to focus on protecting the privacy of our users: DNA data is not uploaded to our servers, all the process takes place in the device of the user.

    Our reports cover different subjects (complex diseases, monogenic diseases, inherited conditions, pharmacological response…) at very affordable prices.

    We hope you find it useful. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

    1. Thanks for posting your privacy protection methods. So very important for users to understand how their data is being used!
      I would caution anyone using the Genomapp app — and any of the other apps and websites — that the 23andMe and Ancestry data is not validated (or 100% accurate) for a lot of what the Genomapp looks to be covering. Specifically, I noticed your BRCA1 and 2 screenshots. 23andMe does have FDA clearance now on just two of the BRCA1,2 mutations, and we really don’t know the accuracy of the BRCA data for all of the rest. So people need to keep in mind that, especially for inherited conditions, there is a chance that the genetic data is not accurate, and thus should always get a second opinion on anything serious.

  14. Hello there,

    I am really into my nutrition and self optimisation. I am an amateur mma fighter and i am looking to get my dna analysed. which is the best value for money and is it worth it? I have been ummin and arrghing over 23andMe for a while now.

    1. In my opinion, it is worth it to get your DNA analyzed :-) Both 23andMe and AncestryDNA give you quite a bit of information, but you are going to have to dig in a learn a lot. 23andMe is a little easier to work with since you can easily look up your data right on their website. If you are good with using Excel (or something similar) to work with your data, then Ancestry DNA is also a good bet. Both companies run sales fairly often, so if money is tight, you may want to keep an eye out for a sale (perhaps around Father’s day).

  15. Paid for the thyroid genes report here and never recieved. Feeling less confident now about allowing your site access to my DNA data…

    1. Hi Alison –
      When you were on the page where you paid for the thyroid genes report, you should have been able to scroll down and see the whole report. It is on the same page as the button to pay. Feel free to go back into the reports and run them again. I would also be happy to refund whatever you donated — just let me know what the paypal account name is.
      And nope – I’m not collecting your DNA information or selling off your email address or anything. Just trying to help people out by providing information that they can apply to their life.
      Thanks for actually paying for the report option — so many people don’t, and I truly appreciate when someone does opt to pay.
      Debbie

  16. Your site is great. When I get a job next month, I will try to donate to you
    for your work.
    One question is about the 23andme test for Gluten Intolerance. What is
    it based on genetically since I was told there were no genes for intolerance,
    except Celiac? I have +/+ (GG) for rs2858331, but -/- or all the rest.
    My test was done about 5 years ago, so not all the same genes were tested
    as the newer tests.
    Also, under IGA, I have +/+ (TT) for rs 1990760 and 3 other +/- phenotypes.
    Nine other genes under this category were -/-.

    Thank you.
    IGA genes tested.

    1. Hi – Thanks for the comment and compliment.
      I’m actually not sure what the 23andMe test for Gluten intolerance is based on. You must be getting that information from another website because it isn’t on mine…

      I have seen on other genetics websites that they include Gluten Intolerance in reports that are based on a couple of SNPs. But I haven’t been able to find a solid connection in the scientific literature between any gene variants and susceptibility to gluten intolerance, and thus I don’t include it on my website. You are correct, though, that there are genotypes linked to susceptibility to Celiac disease.

      The SNP that you list above, rs2858331, is one that can be used in conjunction with another SNP to determine HLA DQ2.5. On my article on Celiac disease risk genes, I recommend using a different SNP to determine HLA DQ2.5 because it is more specific.

      I’m honestly not sure what rs1990760 has to do with IGA or Gluten Intolerance or Celiac disease. It is a fairly common variant in the IFIH1 gene, which is involved in the immune system and leads to a slightly increased risk of type 1 diabetes. Your genotype (TT) is the most common type found in Caucasian populations.

      Again, I have no idea what website you used for your Gluten Intolerance report. I recommend for any genetics report that you buy — or information you find on a website or Facebook — that you read the journal articles that are referenced. If there are no references listed (and there really should be references!), you can look up more information on any SNP (rs id number) using pubmed.gov or snpedia.com.
      Debbie

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