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Orig3n Reviews: We recommend that you steer clear of this company

Our experts tell you everything you need to know including why you should go with 23andMe instead.

Medically reviewed by: Stephanie Curreli, MD, PhD
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Orig3n Review

2020 update on Orig3n:

Unfortunately, we have to issue a strong disclaimer about Orig3n and alter our recommendations. We no longer recommend that you use Orig3n for DNA testing - use 23andMe instead.

Late in 2019, the company came under intense scrutiny thanks to whistleblowers working within the company: you can read about it here, here and here, but to cut a long story short, the employees alleged that the company knew about shortcomings in the DNA test processing, and actively tampered with data to compensate for it. On top of this, there was a separate investigation into quality control issues that led to contaminated specimens and subsequently inaccurate results.

Rather than remove this page, we want to give you this warning so that you have the important information you need. Instead, we encourage you to pursue DNA testing using reputable, reliable and trustworthy alternatives such as 23andMe.

Because we no longer recommend Orig3n, none of the article below will have any links pointing to Orig3n. They now will all point to 23andMe, for your own protection.

Types of Tests Available

Orig3n offers a wide range of DNA test kits - the Fitness, Nutrition, Child Development, Behavior and Beauty aiming to provide you with a vast array of information to inform your lifestyle choices.

The company also provides “mini-tests” which cover the same genes, but in a more focused set of gene variants. These tests include Vitamins, Metabolism, Joint Care, Caffeine Tolerance, Lactose Intolerance, Recovery and Renewal, Hunger and Weight, Skin Health and Appearance, Hair, Folate, Skin Aging and ALDH2 Deficiency (Alcohol Tolerance).

Typically, the “bundled” tests offer a much better value over buying each mini-test individually. A little confused? We explain more about each test below.

Fitness DNA Test

Orig3n’s Fitness DNA [see latest price] Test helps you to understand how your genes may impact your fitness potential. The information provided can help you fine tune your routine in order to reach your goals faster. Some questions this test attempts to help answer are: Can your metabolism help or hinder your goals? Do you have genes for easily building muscle? Do you have the potential to be an endurance athlete?

The analysis also includes answers to how your genes may impact how quickly you recover from fitness, your ability to process fat, how full you feel, sensitivity to sugar, muscle efficiency and more.

Orig3n also offers sells this test bundled with their very good Nutrition DNA, described below, at a reduced price.

Nutrition DNA Test

The Nutrition DNA Test [see latest price] is concerned with how your DNA may affect your body’s response to certain foods and nutrients. It advises which nutrients you may be lacking in, and which might be best avoided. The test analyzes 18 different genes relating to food aversion, food breakdown, hunger and weight, and vitamins.

Out of all the DNA tests on the market related to nutrition, this one is our favorite. Here is a short promotional video explaining more about Orig3n’s Nutrition DNA Test:

Behavior DNA Test

The Behavior DNA Test [see latest price] is somewhat unique in the personalized genetic testing marketplace, as the field of behavioral genetics is young and full of controversy. As long as you keep in mind that at this stage, there is relatively little that genetic tests can definitively tell us about personality, and that the genes analyzed in this test only represent a small subset of the genes that are relevant to personality, the Orig3n behavior product can provide you with some interesting insights into how your genes may affect your moods, behaviors, and reactions (especially if you’re willing to do a little more research on your own!). The test analyses 10 genes relating to feelings, behavior, and tolerance.

Beauty DNA Test

The Beauty DNA Test [see latest price] is designed to investigate the genetic profile of your skin and hair and will use this information to recommend changes to your beauty routine to reflect your specific hair and skin type. The test analyzes 16 different genes relating to appearance and skin health, aging, elasticity, and sun exposure.

We definitely place this test in the more fun than science category. As with most DNA tests, the results from this one need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Child Development DNA Test

The Child Development DNA [see latest price] is a fun and interesting glimpse into your child’s genetic profile, but it is especially important to remember when ordering a test like this that genetics are only a tiny part of the story when it comes to a child’s development. Please do not take the results of this test too seriously!

This test analyzes 14 genes related to enlightenment (which includes aptitude for language learning, math ability, and musical pattern recognition), fitness, sleep and behavior, and nutrition.

Superhero DNA Test

The Superhero DNA Test [see latest price] is designed to provide you with a personal DNA profile that reveals which “superhero” traits you carry in your genome, from a potential four genes that are analyzed. These are muscle mass, language ability, endurance, and muscle force. As you can see, 3/4 of these genes relate to fitness, so hopefully the traits covered by this test will expand as scientific research into the genetic basis of other sorts of “superpower” progresses.

Mini Tests

Each of the Orig3n Mini Tests analyzes a smaller set of genes and is geared towards customers looking for information on a specific bodily function, such as alcohol tolerance, metabolism, joint care, or skin aging. There are 11 different mini-tests covering many different aspects of fitness, diet, and beauty.

All Orig3n reports clearly state which genes have been analyzed, the significance of those genes and recommendations on what you can do to make lifestyle changes. This tends to prompt further research and a better understanding of how your genes can impact your health and wellness. If you’re looking for information on a specific area before diving into a larger kit, the mini-tests are a great way to get started.

Orig3n currently offers the following mini-tests:

  • Vitamins
  • Metabolism
  • Joint Care
  • Caffeine Tolerance
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Recovery & Renewal
  • Hunger & Weight
  • Skin Health
  • Skin Aging
  • Folate
  • Hair

Submitting Your DNA

Orig3n’s DNA submission process is easy, quick, and painless. Once you choose your DNA test and place your order, the Orig3n DNA collection kit will arrive in the mail.

You then use the cheek swabs found in the kit to collect a sample of the cells on the inside of your cheek and return the kit to the lab via pre-paid mail. To access your results, you must download the ORIG3N app, and register either using this app or online.

Privacy Considerations

Samples never leave Orig3n’s Boston lab and all DNA testing and analysis is performed on-site. Test results are encrypted, and your data and samples promised to never be shared with third parties. The company’s default position is that all genetic information shared by customers is kept entirely confidential meaning that your data belongs to you and you alone. If you wish to have your physical DNA sample destroyed, you simply need to request this or Orig3n.