We see the advertisements on TV all the time, “Feeling tired? Stressed?” followed by a supplement to make it all go away.  The trouble with this approach is are you really fixing the problem? or just band aiding the symptoms? Sadly we all want quick fixes, its human nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change.  The problem with supplements is just that, they are a supplement.  For example; you have low iron stores, possibly due to over working your body. You take an iron supplement to try and replenish those stores, yet you keep over working your body. Are you truly fixing the problem? No, you are merely fuelling what the Chinese call “Deficient Fire”, mostly commonly referred to as “running on empty”.  What is happening is the root of the problem is still going on and doing damage, you haven’t corrected the mechanism that initially caused the iron deficiency, you’ve just replaced your body absorbing iron naturally with an artificial form of the mineral.  Many people largely use vitamins and mineral almost like stimulants, to help them work harder, longer, to give them extra energy. You aren’t actually boosting your body, you are pushing it beyond its limits, and sooner or later the body will crash.  I see this in clinic a lot, people do not appreciate how much punishment the body can take, but when it reaches breaking point, it can be very hard to come back from.  The other matter is of course the strain on your Liver and Kidneys which have to work harder to break down and excrete the drugs your taking.  This also long term is not ideal.  There are obviously people out there who have problems absorbing certain vitamins/minerals, and those are the people who need to take supplements.  Everyone else though, should seek about correcting lifestyle issues, getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from a good balanced diet, combined with proper rest and regularly exercise.