Check Zinc and Magnesium Levels | Fight ADHD Symptoms with Food These minerals are essential to normal health and may play an important role in controlling ADHD symptoms. Many children, with and without ADHD, don’t get enough of them. Zinc regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine and may help methylphenidate work more effectively. Magnesium is also used to make neurotransmitters and has a calming effect on the brain. Have your doctor test your child’s mineral levels.