Posted on Feb 27, 2014 in Medical

The hot topic of debate at the moment is DNA testing and specifically home DNA tests; the Mirror, the Daily Mail and Sky News have been most animated in discussing home DNA testing and the advantages and disadvantages they pose to consumers.

The most prominent argument in favor of a home DNA test is that by testing an individual’s DNA they are able to provide actionable insights that patients can use to protect themselves from future risks, as opposed to waiting until a disease strikes. For example, if your DNA test results state that you are more likely to get type II diabetes in later life – then you are able to act upon these results and take more exercise and moderate your diet to ensure that you limit your salt and sugar intake.

Accompanying the beneficial argument for DNA tests is the availability of these home DNA tests to the consumer. They have never been so cheap to purchase with some paternity and health tests falling as low £88 and £99 respectively, they are increasingly simple to order and carry out in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Some companies are even posting results with next working day turnaround so you can find out if you are the father of a child with two days of actually ordering the test.

However, a number of health professionals have questioned the tests’ accuracy and say that there is a lack of scientific validity – whilst the ‘peace of mind’ DNA test is used only to satisfy a personal ‘need to know’ and are not meaningful unless in the context of a full medical evaluation. Whilst others are unclear as to how the genes interact with lifestyle and environment and are cautious that tests may provide a misleading picture of future health threats (falsely reassuring people with undiscovered risks factors that there is nothing to worry about and vice versa – scare mongering in effect).

Consumers are criticizing the fact that the court admissible ‘legal DNA tests’ that are said to be more reliable do not warrant their higher price when compared to the ‘peace of mind’ DNA tests. Explaining how some firms are exploiting consumers through higher pricing and hidden payments i.e. the lab processing fee. In addition to this, health professionals have joined in disapproving the validity of peace of mind DNA tests because of the ‘home’ nature – anyone can take the test under your name and thus results can be cheated and completely unreliable (most relevant in the case of paternity testing).

To find the best Home DNA Tests visits