Check Zinc and Magnesium Levels
Zinc and magnesium are two other minerals that may play an important role in controlling ADHD symptoms. Both are essential to normal health, and a surprising number of children, with and without ADHD, don't get enough of them. Zinc regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, and it may make methylphenidate more effective by improving the brain's response to dopamine.
Magnesium is also used to make neurotransmitters involved in attention and concentration, and it has a calming effect on the brain. Have your doctor check your child's magnesium and zinc levels when you test ferritin levels. I find that at least 25 percent of the children I see are low in zinc.
While studies have been done on both minerals' effects on ADHD, the results are not as clear-cut as in studies done on omega-3's and iron.
Next: Cut Back on Chemicals
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of ADDitude.
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