Apollo Neuro Review: Can Soundwaves Reduce Stress?

Apollo Neuro Review: Can Soundwaves Reduce Stress?

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The Apollo Neuro is a wearable device for stress relief. The brand claims that their product improves sleep, focus, heart rate variability (HRV), physical recovery, and sense of calmness. Apollo Neuro's founder David Rabin is a Medical Doctor (MD) with a PhD in neuroscience which is a good sign of the brand's legitimacy.

But are these health claims actually backed in good research or is this another expensive health device with lacking proof of efficacy? Are there any health risks associated with Apollo Neuro use? And how do real users rate Apollo Neuro's effects on stress relief?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the clinical studies funded by Apollo Neuro, explain how the device is proposed to work, and share a real, unsponsored user review of the product.

Is Apollo Neuro Backed by Good Research?

Apollo Neuro health claims

The Apollo Neuro website claims that their product was “Born in the Lab,” but at the time we published this article the brand had shared no medical research proving their product to be effective for any of the stated health claims.

Since then, Apollo Neuro has added a Studies Roundup page on their website highlighting clinical research on their device. The majority of these studies are ongoing and the full data set is not yet accessible.

We would caution consumers to be wary of claims of efficacy based on "preliminary results" given the information asymmetry: the brand has access to these results but consumers don't. Until the full study is published and researchers can analyze the study methodology and full set of data, we do not believe early results are particularly valuable (though we do believe it's a good sign that the company is engaged in a number of legitimate research trials).

One clinical trial on the Apollo Neuro has completed, and was published in the reputable Biological Psychiatry journal. The trial found that individuals using Apollo Neuro experienced an average increase of 10% in HRV, which suggests improved stress response

Based on early research, we will consider Apollo Neuro potentially effective for stress relief. We will wait for more data to emerge to state so conclusively and to consider recommending this device. There does not appear to be one completed and accessible clinical trial directly proving that this device reduces perceived stress levels, as HRV is an indirect measure.

We consider it to be a good sign of legitimacy that the brand is funding clinical research in legitimate scientific and medical journals, as this is the gold standard of product research and is much more valuable than "clinical studies" funded in-house by brands which suffers from so much bias that the results are worthless (many wellness brands engage in this practice unfortunately).

Apollo Neuro Unsponsored User Review

One of the most popular YouTube reviews on the Apollo Neuro is published by a creator named Katie Type A, and has over 40,000 views at the time of updating this article.

Katie reviews how the device works, shares her personal experience using it, and shares her HRV data. The review appears unsponsored:

How Does Apollo Neuro Work?

The proposed mechanism of action of the Apollo Neuro is called “touch therapy.” The company claims that low frequencies of sound waves emitted from their device can cause changes in the nervous system that improves the way individuals respond to stress.

We can’t find any existing medical research backing these claims. We searched PubMed, which is one of the largest medical databases in the U.S., for any research published on sound waves and stress (not just published by Apollo but by anyone), and couldn't find any useful information.

This doesn’t mean Apollo is necessarily ineffective, just that there doesn’t currently appear to be much existing research on the mechanism of action of their device (other than the one clinical trial referenced previously of relatively limited scope).

Perhaps Apollo Neuro has created a truly revolutionary device that can reduce stress and anxiety through sound waves alone, but we will reserve judgment until more research emerges.

Does Apollo Neuro Cause Side Effects?

We do not consider the Apollo Neuro device likely to cause side effects. We have not come across any medical studies suggesting that constant, low frequencies of sound waves are harmful to health, and in modern life we're routinely exposed to levels of sound waves much greater than that emitted by the Apollo Neuro.

That being said, we would prefer to confirm a lack of side effects from clinical trials, given that this is a novel device. Part of the reason we aren't yet comfortable recommending this device is because we would like to see long-term safety data emerge, and that data is not currently publicly accessible.

Since Apollo Neuro claims to influence the nervous system, we believe that consumers should wait for safety data to emerge from clinical trials before purchasing this device, even though we consider the risk of side effects to be very low.

Our Stress Support Supplement Recommendations

L-theanine is one of the most well-studied and safe dietary supplements to induce relaxation. It's an amino acid that increases alpha brain wave activity, similar to meditating. 

A clinical trial published in the Nutrients journal found that l-theanine supplementation reduced stress symptom scores (related to anxiety, depression and sleep) over the course of four weeks. 

The product we recommend is Nutricost L-Theanine because it has a clean formulation (no unhealthy filler ingredients, l-theanine is the only active ingredient) and a great price ($0.08 per serving). Interested consumers can check out Nutricost L-Theanine at this link to the product's Amazon listing.

Lemon balm extract is another natural compound that has been studied for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and antidepressant effects. A 2021 meta-study found that lemon balm significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores in trial participants.

The product we recommend is Herb Pharm Organic Lemon Balm Extract because its only ingredients are organic lemon balm extract, organic vegetable glycerin and distilled water. There are no unhealthy additive ingredients. Interested consumers can check out Herb Pharm Organic Lemon Balm Extract at this link to the product's Amazon listing.

Lemon balm extract may cause minor dependency in some individuals, so we would recommend that consumers speak with their doctor about using this product for acute anxiety rather than as a daily supplement.

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At this time, we don't recommend the Apollo Neuro device because we don't believe there's enough data backing its efficacy. The one completed clinical trial was relatively limited in scope and did not prove that the device directly reduces perceived stress levels.

If more research emerges proving that the Apollo Neuro is effective for improving sleep or anxiety, we will consider changing our position. Given that there are ongoing medical trials on the device, this is possible.

We can’t find any existing medical research proving the mechanism of action of the device; that low-frequency sound waves can favorably modulate stress function.

We do not consider the Apollo Neuro to be dangerous or likely to cause side effects. That being said, we await the results of clinical trials proving the device conclusively does not cause side effects. Until this data emerges it's impossible to confirm whether or not the device is side-effect-free.

For the time being, we believe there are natural compounds with significant clinical backing for stress support that would be a more logical and cost-effective option than buying an Apollo Neuro.

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