Scientists have claimed that diabetes causes genetic damage to a man's sperm that may affect his fertility.
The scientists from Queen's University in Belfast compared sperm from 27 men with Type 1 diabetes and 29 men without diabetes, all in their thirties.
When the researchers looked at the DNA in sperm nuclei, they found large differences. More than half the DNA was fragmented in the sperm from men with diabetes, compared with 32 per cent in the other group’s samples.
"Although a small study, these are novel findings and somewhat alarming," said Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK.
“We know that impotence is a complication of diabetes but this is the first research to suggest DNA damage could be occurring at a cellular level and that is cause for great concern. We would welcome further investigation in this area."