For most people in the UK, when they’re after some medical product, their first port of call is the nationwide pharmacist, Boots.
We suspect that many people who want a DNA testing kit, for any reason, will look to Boots first because Boots often have their own brand of version of many popular medical items, and better yet, these own brand items tend to come at a more reasonable and affordable price.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, Boots is yet to have their own brand of DNA testing kits.
That said, there are some DNA tests that you can buy through pharmaceutical giant boots, and they are as follows:
DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit
23andMe® Health and Ancestry Personal Genetic Service: DNA Kit
In this article we’re going to review these two DNA testing kits, but because they have such different end objectives in mind, we won’t be carrying out a comparison as such.
What we will be looking at is what these two DNA testing kits have to offer, and their value for money.
At the end of the article, we will talk about finding the right DNA test for you, and directing you to some further sources of information.
DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit
To review this test, we’re going to talk about the cost, what the test has to offer, the accuracy, the process and how easy it is to use, and how soon you will get your results.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this review, it is only fair to warn you at the very beginning, that although the test kit itself is hands down one of the cheapest ones around, you will also be expected to pay an additional cost for the laboratory fee.
By the time you put the cost of the kit together with the cost for the lab fees, the DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test will cost over £100.
About the DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit
Although DNA Clinics offer a number of different paternity test kits, unfortunately only 1 of these is available at Boots.
The version of the DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit that’s available at Boots requires samples from 3 of you, the mother, the child, and the suspected father.
The main drawback to this method of paternity testing is that you can only test the paternity for 1 suspected father. If you wanted to do a paternity test on 2 suspected fathers (or more) then you will have to buy additional tests, take more samples, and pay more fees.
There is a clear advantage of using DNA from the mother for the test as well, which is that it really increases the test’s accuracy. And it’s important to note at this point that the mother’s DNA is necessary for legal DNA testing.
The Process / How easy is it to use
Once you’ve bought the test, you will need to fill in the accompanying forms, of which there are many.
Then you will need to collect DNA samples from the mother, the child and the suspected father. There are 2 mouth swabs for each test participant, and you obtain the DNA by rubbing the cotton end of the swabs inside the cheeks.
So, there is no way of doing this subtly, and it’s best carried out with each party’s consent.
You then post the forms and the swabs in the pre-paid envelope provided, ensuring that payment for the lab fees is enclosed.
When you receive the results, they arrive in a two page document with the probability of the paternity expressed as a percentage.
For negative results, the probability is 0% when the suspected father is excluded as a biological father. And this means that here is 0% chance that the person tested is the child’s biological father.
Where it appears that the child is the father, however the accuracy is expressed a little differently, as 99.9999% (rather than 100%). However this is obviously very high and can be taken to mean that the person tested is the biological father.
How soon you will get your results
The good news is that DNA Clinics offers a very quick turn around for the test results.
The results will be sent out to you within 3 working days from the date the laboratory receives the samples.
That means you can always expect to receive the results within just 1 week.
Review Summary of DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit
The DNA Clinics Paternity DNA Test Kit sold in Boots is touted as the gold standard for paternity testing. This is thanks to its high level of accuracy. And that’s what you’re really looking for in paternity testing, a simple yes or no, and that’s what the test delivers.
It’s more expensive than we would like, with lab fees that by far extend the price of the kit, but we’re sure that very many people would gladly pay the money.
The other positive is the quick turn around for results, since we’re sure the wait could be quite agonizing for some.
The main complaint that users have with the test is that the lab tests are actually carried out by a separate company, and not by DNA Clinics themselves.
Sibling Test Alternative
If you suspect that you have a living sibling, but cannot get a DNA sample from the father, then it may interest you to know that you can bypass that stage with a sibling DNA test.
For more information on that, please check out our other article entitled Best Sibling DNA Tests, which is available on this link. It’s important to note that this sibling test is not available at Boots.
23andMe® Health and Ancestry Personal Genetic Service: DNA Kit
If you’re particularly interested in DNA testing, then you may well feel like 23andMe needs no introduction. In the UK they were amongst the first in the business to make this kind of product offering, and they have been advertising on our televisions on and off ever since.
And as the name suggests, this particular DNA testing kit from 23andMe tests not only your ancestry, but also your health too. Let’s go through it in detail, before addressing what others have been saying about 23andMe.
The 23andMe Health and Ancestry Kit uses just a small sample of your DNA to run a number of different tests to produce a staggering number of personalised reports on your genetic health, traits, and ancestry.
The total number of reports comes in at over 150. And that works out at approximately £10 per report, give or take.
We would argue that it’s very good value for money, especially when it comes to the health and carrier status reports which we will be talking more about very shortly. This is because such genetic testing can pick up on genetic predispositions to conditions that you might inadvertently pass onto your kids if you were previously unaware of them.
Granted not all of the reports will have the same value to you, I mean who needs a report on their more obvious traits like eye color. But if the test does pick up on something that can serve as a warning to you, then the money would have been worth it.
What the 23andMe Health and Ancestry Kit has to offer
Here’s a quick summary of the reports available with this test:
Ancestry - 50+ reports
Health Predisposition - 10+ reports
Wellness - 5+ reports
Traits - 30+ reports
Carrier Status - 40+ reports
So, as you can see already, this is a very thorough and comprehensive test.
Carrier Status reports
In our view the stand out feature of this test is the Carrier Status reports, which basically runs loads of different tests to spot whether you’re a genetic carrier for a disease, that you may not have been aware of.
If you’re part of a couple, and are thinking of having children together, if you both take the test, then this can go quite some way to making educated estimates as to the health of the child.
We won’t go into the full list of reports here, as you may not be familiar with many if the disease names anyways.
Health Predisposition reports
And not to be overlooked, there are the reports on your own genetic predisposition to a number of different diseases, and this will include diseases you’ll have heard of. Examples include Parkinson’s disease, late onset Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes and so on.
It’s important to note at this point that having a genetic predisposition to something means that you have an increased likelihood of developing the disease.
It does not necessarily mean that you will definitely get the disease at some point, but it is certainly useful to know that you are prone to it, especially if it’s something that can often be prevented, such as type 2 diabetes.
Next is the ancestry reports. There are a number of interesting reports here. Both your maternal and paternal ancestry is tracked to form a family tree, and you will discover your ancestry composition (percentage of each type of heritage).
There’s also a DNA Relative Finder, whereby you can opt in to connect and message people who share common ancestry.
And if you have any Neanderthal DNA in you, then even that can be picked up too.
The wellness reports are a great feature too. They talk about such things as caffeine consumption, sleep patterns, weight and saturated fat, muscle composition etc.
The good news is that these reports aren’t preachy in any way, describing how you ought to live your life according to your genetic makeup, but rather they go into how your genes can influence certain lifestyle choices.
The trait reports aren’t quite so important as the other types, but there are many of them provided, so that’s why we’re talking about them.
Examples of things that are covered include Ability to Match Musical Pitch, Bald Spots, Fear of Heights, Motion Sickness, and other things of that ilk. Nothing essential, sure, but there’s plenty there to raise some talking points amongst your friends.
The Process / How easy is it to use
First, you buy the saliva collection kit. Then you register the kit online. Spit into the tube. Mail back (pre-paid).
Then you wait 6 to 8 weeks, at which point you should then receive an email to let you know your reports are ready in your online account.
Then you can go ahead and log in to get all of your reports. Very simple and straightforward.
What users are saying about 23andMe
There’s no shortage of customer reviews on this kit on the net! Online retailer Amazon shows well over 10,500 individual customer reviews on this product on Amazon.com alone, whereas this figure goes into the hundreds on Amazon.co.uk.
On the whole, customer feedback is very positive indeed. And in both of the above instances, the average customer rating comes in at 4 and a half stars out of 5 which is very reassuring.
People who are happy with the test say things like the ethnic origin analysis is more accurate than they’ve found with other companies, and that the test can help to solve family mysteries. They also like the useful medical advice and information, and the Relative Finder.
The main caveat that the more negative reviews bring up is about the how your genetic data is used. Unfortunately, the company (23andMe not Boots) does sell and distribute the data. However, when they do this, they do strip the data of personally identifying information.
If you’re uncomfortable with this arrangement however, you can opt out of sharing data, and you can even opt out of your data being stored. Your personal data is under your control.
Review Summary of 23andMe® Health and Ancestry Personal Genetic Service: DNA Kit
We have to admit that the 23andMe Health and Ancestry Kit remains one of the best DNA testing kits out there, if not the best. Sure, it costs more money than what some of the other companies are asking, but the sheer number of reports available is unparalleled.
And though you may not care too much for every single report in the trait category, if some important health marker crops up elsewhere in the reports that’s important to know about, then it will have been worth every penny.
You may be interested to know that the cost of buying this particular DNA testing kit from Boots was exactly the same as the cost of buying it directly from 23andMe, at the time of writing this article. Though this could change.
It’s also worth noting at this point that 23andMe has a number of other DNA test kits available from their website that are not (at the time of writing this review) available on Boots.
The Health and Ancestry product offering is their most comprehensive service, with the other remaining serving just providing information on ancestry and traits. Though it should be said that this is available at a far more affordable price. But if you do decide to go for this cheaper option, you may be assured to know that you can buy add ons afterward.
If this brief review on 23andMe hasn’t answered all the questions you may have about the test, then you may be interested in reading our other article entitled 23andMe Review, which provides a more in depth review on the subject, and is available on this link.
Summary of Boots DNA Testing Kits
While it’s unfortunate that there’s not much of a product selection with Boots when it comes to DNA testing kits, at least it can be said that they stock two of the most important types of DNA tests, and that they are both of excellent quality.
Further guidance on buying a DNA test
We hope that you’ve found this information useful, but for further guidance we can recommend some of our other articles.
For example, for an in depth buying guide on paternity tests, check out our article entitled Best DNA Paternity Tests, which is available on this link.
For an in depth buying guide on tests for genes and health, check out our article entitled Best DNA Test for Health, which is available on this link. Or you may like to check out our article entitled DNA Diagnostics Center Review, which is available on this link.
If you’re interested in getting a DNA test to learn more about your ancestry, then there are a number of different DNA tests that can help you there, and we review several of them on our website. You could look at:
AncestryDNA Review, which is available on this link,
FamilyTreeDNA Review, which is available on this link
LivingDNA Review, which is available on this link
FindMyPastDNA Review which is available on this link, or
MyHeritageDNA Review, which is available on this link.