InsideTracker Vs. 23andMe: Which DNA Analysis Service Is Better?

DNA testing kits are all the rage for uncovering insights into your ancestry, health, and habits. Two options gaining popularity are InsideTracker and 23andMe.

InsideTracker promises to optimize your nutrition and performance through biomarker analyses. 23andMe combines ancestry reports with some health screenings.

But which home DNA analysis service is best for you? Let’s compare InsideTracker and 23andMe head-to-head.

A Brief Comparison Table

Testing ExperienceSaliva or blood kitsSaliva kit
Turnaround Time1-2 weeks3-8 weeks
InsightsFitness, nutrition biomarkersAncestry, hereditary risks
AccuracyVariable for health insightsHigh for ancestry
Privacy ControlsStrongModerate
RecommendationsPersonalized health plansGeneral wellness content
Ancestry DetailsNoneHighly detailed reports
Ongoing ExperienceRetesting to track improvementsOne-time testing

Overview of InsideTracker and 23andMe

First, here’s a high-level look at each service:



  • Founded in 2009 at MIT
  • Analyzes biomarkers related to fitness and nutrition
  • Offers plans to optimize diet, exercise, and lifestyle
  • Also provides immune system and aging insights


  • Founded in 2006 in California
  • Analyzes ancestry composition and some health risks
  • Library of over 75 genetic reports to explore
  • Option to connect with DNA relatives

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Key Differences Between InsideTracker And 23andMe

Now let’s weigh the pros and cons of InsideTracker Vs. 23andMe across key categories.

  • Testing Experience

Both InsideTracker and 23andMe require submitting a saliva sample by mail. InsideTracker also offers blood spot kits.

Most customers describe the at-home collection process as quick and easy for both brands. Just follow the instructions carefully.

23andMe has a simpler test experience with a single tube to fill. InsideTracker may require filling multiple vials for blood testing.

For user-friendliness, 23andMe gets a slight edge. But InsideTracker isn’t far behind.

  • Turnaround Time

With 23andMe, expect your ancestry composition report in 3-5 weeks. Some health screenings can take 6-8 weeks.

InsideTracker aims to deliver results within 1-2 weeks. But you may wait longer during busy periods.

InsideTracker reviews note occasional shipping delays that slow the process. 23andMe tends to hit its advertised timelines consistently.

23andMe appears to be the most reliable and timely option currently.

  • Insights Provided

The type of insights provided differs significantly between the two brands:

InsideTracker focuses on optimizing biomarkers tied to:

  1. Cardiovascular health
  2. Nutrition
  3. Muscle quality
  4. Inflammation
  5. Immune function
  6. Metabolic age

You get personalized recommendations to improve diet, fitness, sleep, and more based on your results.

23andMe reveals:

  1. Ancestry composition percentages
  2. Health risks for conditions like diabetes, cancer, etc.
  3. Wellness reports like sleep quality, lactose intolerance, etc.
  4. Carrier status for genetic diseases
  5. Traits like hair thickness, caffeine sensitivity, etc.

If you want holistic health insights, InsideTracker is more robust. For ancestral and hereditary information, 23andMe has greater breadth.

It depends on your wellness goals. InsideTracker is better for fitness and nutrition, while 23andMe provides more genetic trait and ancestry details.

  • Accuracy and Validity

Both companies process tests in CLIA-certified labs and abide by testing regulations. Independent studies confirm their analysis techniques are accurate when interpreting DNA data.

However, some InsideTracker users say biomarker recommendations aren’t always personalized or accurate. Make sure to discuss results with your doctor.

23andMe meets FDA requirements for direct-to-consumer DNA tests. Their ancestry reports align with known family records for most customers.

For DNA testing, 23andMe appears to offer consistently sound results. Validate any supplementary health insights from InsideTracker before acting on them.

  • Privacy and Data Security

Privacy practices are a concern when sharing your genetic data.

InsideTracker only shares anonymized, aggregated data with research partners, by default. You can opt out of any sharing. They offer clear consent options upfront.

23andMe more actively pursues research initiatives with pharma companies using customer data. You need to carefully manage your sharing preferences and opt out of certain default sharing programs.

Both companies secure data with encryption, access controls, testing procedures, and other safeguards.

But InsideTracker implements stronger privacy controls and consent protocols surrounding your genetic information.

Watch this review video:

  • Health Recommendations

Based on your results, InsideTracker provides tailored nutritional and lifestyle suggestions to support key biomarkers. Recommendations may relate to:

  1. Diet – foods to eat more or less of
  2. Exercise – types of activities to prioritize
  3. Sleep – amount to target each night
  4. Stress – meditation, relaxation tips
  5. Supplements – nutrients to focus on

23andMe offers some generalized wellness content and genetic counseling. But they lack personalized plans based on your biomarkers.

For guidance on optimizing diet, fitness, and lifestyle, InsideTracker offers more robust support.

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  • Ancestry Details

If your goal is digging into family history and genealogy, 23andMe excels. Their ancestry composition report breaks down percentages for:

  1. Regional percentages – Africa, Europe, Americas, etc.
  2. Subregions – South Asian, Iberian, Scandinavian, etc.
  3. Possible Neanderthal variants

You can view migration patterns over centuries and connect with DNA relatives.

InsideTracker doesn’t provide any ancestry-related insights. This is purely 23andMe’s domain.

23andMe wins hands-down for ancestral data if that’s your focus. InsideTracker isn’t designed for this.

  • Ongoing Experience

InsideTracker encourages retesting every 6 months or so to track improvements in your biomarkers. Recommendations update dynamically based on the latest data.

23andMe doesn’t require retesting. But you can opt in occasionally to see if any new reports are available as they expand their testing panel.

InsideTracker aims to provide an interactive, evolving experience based on changing biomarkers. 23andMe gives more of a one-time snapshot.

  • Value and Pricing

InsideTracker plans start at $149 for a basic blood test analysis. Comprehensive plans go up to $649 or more.

23andMe costs $99 for just ancestry results. Adding health screening bumps it up to $199.

For ancestry insights, 23andMe offers solid value. For guidance on improving biomarkers, InsideTracker carries a higher but fair price.

InsideTracker offers more integration with one-on-one coaches and nutritional software. 23andMe focuses on convenient self-service testing.

Depending on the depth you need, either could provide sufficient value.

Also Read: Comparison Between HealthTap And SteadyMD Virtual Care Service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Still unsure whether InsideTracker or 23andMe is a better DNA analysis option for you? Here are answers to some common questions.

How reliable is 23andMe genetic testing?

23andMe is considered highly reliable for ancestry composition analysis and reporting of genetic health risks. Their lab techniques and analysis methods are validated by independent peer-reviewed studies and meet FDA standards. Around 80-90% of ancestry results align with family history records. But take supplementary wellness reports with caution and consult a doctor before making any MEDICAl decisions based on them.

Which DNA test is best for privacy?

InsideTracker implements stronger privacy controls and consent protocols around sharing your genetic data. Their default is only anonymized, aggregated sharing with select research partners that you can opt out of. 23andMe more actively pursues research sharing initiatives that you need to selectively opt out of to restrict data usage. Both services encrypt data and have security controls.

What biomarkers are in InsideTracker?

InsideTracker tests 40+ biomarkers related to vital categories like cardiovascular health, nutrition, muscle quality, inflammation, metabolic age, immunity, metabolism, stress levels, and more. Key biomarkers analyzed include HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, Vitamin D, blood glucose, creatine kinase, complete blood count, insulin-like growth factor, and more.

How does the InsideTracker work?

InsideTracker utilizes your biomarker data to give science-based nutritional and lifestyle recommendations personalized to your blood chemistry and goals. For example, they may suggest increasing certain foods, vitamins, exercises, or sleep duration to optimize particular biomarkers. Their algorithm analyzes how these changes influence biomarkers over time when you retest. InsideTracker aims to help you continuously improve fitness, diet, and health.

The Verdict

Now that we’ve weighed both services across 10 categories, which one comes out on top?

If your top priority is unlocking health and wellness insights based on biomarkers, InsideTracker is the winner. Their nutrition and lifestyle optimization plans provide actionable guidance.

If you mainly want to learn about ancestry, heritage, and genetic traits beyond health, 23andMe has more to offer. Their DNA relative matching and regional breakdowns satisfy curiosity about family history.

Both provide interesting, insightful reports on different aspects of your DNA. Choose the option matching your goals, budget, and interests. Then start uncovering insights into your health, history, and habits!

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