5 Things About Living DNA You Should Know

DnaTestingBuyersGuide Editorial Team

DnaTestingBuyersGuide Editorial Team

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Do you want to find out your origins? Living DNA is one of the most popular solutions to use when you want to find your ancestry. It breaks down your heritage into geographic regions using your DNA test results. The UK based company was founded in 2016, by David Nicholson and Hannah Morden-Nicholson.

Living DNA is different from other services because it allows you to trace your ancestry based on each of your parents’ genealogy. The data can run as deep as the past ten generations, and the company has data from more than 80 regions across the world which it uses for crosschecking generated results. Here are five other things you need to know about the service.

The DNA Testing Process is Simple

To get your results from Living DNA, you only need to order the kit, complete the mouth swab as directed, and send the samples back to the company.

The sampling kit comes with everything you’ll need to complete the process including the mouth swab, container, a pouch for the completed swab, as well as a return pre-paid mailing envelope. Using the test kit is easy. The first step is to activate it using a code in the pack.

You will receive directions to a video you can watch to find out how you can take the swab. The instructions are straightforward, but in summary, you should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking at least one hour to when you intend to do the swab and then ensure you run the swab for 60 seconds. 

Your results will come in around 6-8 weeks after the company has received your sample. This is a long time to wait, but the situation is the same with similar companies. Once your result is ready, you will receive it digitally via their designated online portal. The link will be sent to your email address.

Living DNA Offers Value for Money

As at the time of writing this article, the cheapest Living DNA package costs $59 while the highest-tier plan costs $119. This is cheaper than some of its competition. If you’d like to show off your ancestry test results in a picturesque manner, you can pay for your results to be delivered in the exquisitely designed ancestry book.

The base-level plan only shows your family ancestry using data from eight continents. The highest-level plan will include a full ancestry report and family matching. You will also get a well-being report that will cover vitamin response, food metabolism, nutrition ideas, exercise ideas, and more.

Living DNA Doesn’t Share Your Data

According to Living DNA, you never have to worry about your data being shared with third parties without your permission. However, the company will share aggregate data that doesn’t specifically identify users and will provide information where requested by the courts. It uses encryption and data segregation to keep your information safe.

To date, there’s been no report of breaches in Living DNA’s security protocol or any complaints of user data shared without authorization. If you decide to include your DNA in their research pool, you can give the company permission to do so. You will be properly guided on how to go about this process, as well as your rights. 

Living DNA results are Moderately Accurate

Your DNA results will come in three parts, including Motherline, Fatherline, and Family Ancestry. Your family ancestry will be presented as a percentage split of your recent history showing ancestry by region, sub-region, and country. 

Within a country, the data can go deeper into smaller geographic areas. All the data is displayed on a chart, making it super intuitive. With Living DNA Family Ancestry data, you’ll get three degrees of certainty, namely: 

  1. Cautious
  2. Standard
  3. Complete

The results are most accurate in that order. Cautious contains results it is most certain of, while complete is just a map of your genetic data connected to specific geographical regions. The company doesn’t specifically talk about the size of its database, but its data contains elements from 80 regions worldwide.

This pales in comparison to some of its competition. However, its DNA reference panel is better than or close to some of the competition as its data findings are generated from the results of 12,000 people. 

One of the main complaints about Living DNA’s results, is that it is too focused on the UK. This means that users with a UK ancestry will get better results than those with ancestry in other parts of Europe and the rest of the world.

However, this is perhaps to be expected as the company is based in the UK and is still less than five years old. The results should improve with time. However, this is something to consider if you are not a UK native.

You Can Download Your DNA Data

Living DNA has the option to download your DNA data after it’s been tested.  This allows you to have your data handy for use on other platforms that use DNA analysis to provide health and wellness recommendations.

If your reason for using Living DNA is to generate your DNA data, you can use its $59 DNA testing starter option. It is one of the cheapest you will find in the market today. 

If you pay for the costlier plans, you can still download your DNA data and keep it safe. On some sites, you can use the data generated to see your health traits, the disease-causing genes you might have, and find out lifestyle options you should avoid to stay healthy. 


Living DNA is one of the best ancestry analysis solutions on the web today. Its process is well-oiled, and the video instructions that come with activating your test kit means that everyone can easily complete the swabbing process. If you are a native of the UK, there is a high probability that Living DNA will match what you already know about your ancestry closely, with perhaps, a few surprises.

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