I tried Circle DNA Home Test Kit and this is what happened

Veronica Yoo
12 January, 2021

Remember when testing ancestry roots through DNA was a thing? Well, it’s 2021 and we’re quick to say, the future is NOW! Turns out there’s so much more we can learn about ourselves through our DNA than just our ancestry (Which more often than not, comes to us by no surprise). With a simple saliva swab test, you can receive over 500 reports on your mental and physical wellbeing, including psychological traits, behavioral traits cancer risks and more! I’ve had the luxury to try CircleDNA’s Premium Test Kit to see if they can deliver what they promise!

CircleDNA is a biotech company on a mission to empower individuals with health insights to live a healthier life. It ultimately achieves this with their DNA test kit which brings attention to your genetic insights such as dietary recommendations, sports and fitness and more depending on the type of DNA test kit. Their holy grail: Premium DNA (HK$4,990) kit collects a gobsmacking 500+ reports across 20 categories. CircleDNA markets the premium test kit as the world’s most comprehensive DNA test and today, I put that statement to the test.

How it works

Before we go into talk about how this works, can we talk about how beautiful and luxurious the packaging is? From the packaging alone, it deserves a premium stamp! The kit comes in a matte black box with gold accents and once you slide open the drawer of the box, it’s easy to notice that CircleDNA put in a lot of effort to make the test kit seem more approachable. Inside the box, you can find a “handwritten” welcome note by CEO & Co-Founder of CircleDNA Danny Yeung along with a “Circle of Change” bracelet to inspire your change. Cute!

You’ll also find a smaller box with a test tube with a fluid that will retain your DNA sample, a cotton swab and a laboratory zip lock bag. To start testing I downloaded the CircleDNA app which was activated through scanning the barcode of the test tube inside the kit. Then I took the cotton swab out of the sterile packaging and collected saliva sample simply by rubbing the swab on the walls of my inner cheek ten times on each side. Lastly, I put the cotton swab into the test tube and called SF to pick up my sample. 

The entire process was fuss-free and very self-explanatory. Simple instructions were written on the kit as well as a step-by-step guide on the app which lets you know the different sample to lab retrieval methods. I appreciated how the test tube and collection bag came inside a smaller box which made it convenient to deliver the kit, just as it is. 

Result

I sent my sample on the 11th December 2020 through SF and got my results back on the 8th of January 2021. After approximately a month’s wait, I got an email notifying me that the long-awaited results have finally arrived! 

Once I opened the app, my results were organized into eight categories complimented with simple graphics: Diet & Lifestyle, Talent & Sports Performance, Origins, Genetic Blueprint, Family planning, Early detection, Health & Disease and Medicine. Each category contained different subcategories such as diet, nutrition, well-being, stress & sleep, etc. As promised, I had over 500+ wellness reports. 

With my results, I was taken aback at how much I thought I knew my body, but how the results showed otherwise. For example, I always saw myself as a good drinker, I didn’t get the cursed Asian flush, nor did I ever pass out drunk. But to my surprise, my genetic result showed high sensitivity to alcohol. I also found that my lactate clearance is above average although my recovery efficiency is in the lower range and if I must gloat, I am gifted with excellent IQ, EQ, and AQ (Come at me Elon Musk)! For all of you wondering, I’m 98.83% East Asian and 1.17% African (quite accurate I’d say).

I appreciated how with every result, there was an explanation, recommendation and scientific details section which gave an in-depth analysis of what the results meant.  For results that you should pay attention to, texts are bolded in green or red colored fonts, making them easier to interpret. Alongside that, the graphics created a visually appealing aesthetic unlike traditional clinical reports. 

Of all the reports, the category that I was most fearful of finding out was Family Planning and Cancer risks. And rightfully so. For Family Planning and Cancer Risk categories, the app makes sure you read a mini tutorial on how to interpret your results, just in case you start panicking if your results showed genetic mutations. I was ecstatic to find out that no gene mutation was found on both cancer risk and family planning. I was actually surprised to find how many hereditary conditions there were, from Wilson disease to Nemaline Myopathy (Truth be told, I felt ashamed that I couldn’t recognize any of these hereditary disorders).

Verdict

At the end of the day, the interpretations of the results are up to you. Whether you act upon the result is also up to you. If you’re determined to use this knowledge to improve your lifestyle and make changes to living healthier, this kit is worth investing in. Although I was fortunate enough for my results to show no alarming detection, if you were to have a genetic mutation this kit would be a great starting point in learning to become more aware of your health and prevent possible illnesses. It should be noted that the results do not diagnose any health conditions and when concerned you should always visit your doctor. While it may be hefty in price, the benefits are worth it. With the premium kit, you are also able to book a complimentary consultation with a team member to help guide you through your results. All in all, I believe it rightfully deserves its title as the world’s most comprehensive DNA test kit. 

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