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Stuart Weiss Part 7, Vitamin D Deficiency in Diabetics

In part 7 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Stuart Weiss talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE meeting in Austin, Texas about his recommendation for getting adequate Vitamin D.

Dr. Stuart Weiss, is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Endocrinology at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has a long history of clinical practice in the management of patients in the field of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve: What do you teach your patients about exposure to Vitamin D and Vitamin D levels and the use of sunscreen?

Dr. Weiss: Vitamin D has been kicked around a lot in terms of its role in diabetes. Vitamin D Deficiency has been linked to diabetes. I think it might be all part of the same lifestyle, in other words, people who are eating and sitting around and not doing any physical activity, that will lead you to diabetes. Obesity leads you to diabetes. On the other hand, people who are physically active, who are outside running are going to have less diabetes. The sun exposure is important without sunscreen to make Vitamin D, once you put sunscreen on you don’t get Vitamin D at all. 15 minutes of sun exposure during peak hours is really all you need – your arms, your legs and your face – and that should adequately raise your Vitamin D into a reasonable range. Again, the link between Vitamin D deficiency and diabetes as causal is controversial thing. I’m not really sure that I’m 100% certain, but I do believe that Vitamin D deficiency is a marker for lifestyle that is consistent with the development of diabetes.

Steve: Do you do a Vitamin D test?

Dr. Weiss: I used to do it all the time, but now I just tell my patients they need 15 minutes of sun without sunscreen during peak hours of the day. I think there’s a rough rule, though I don’t know how valid it is, if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s hitting you at the right angle to get adequate Vitamin D. If your shadow is longer than you are tall then the sun is probably not at the right angle to make Vitamin D. I also know that studies done a long time ago show that from March to November in the Northeast – it was done on the roof of Mass General Hospital by Dr. Hollick – if the sun’s hitting you at the right angle to make Vitamin D…if you’re not getting that kind of exposure, then you won’t get Vitamin D from the sun.

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