Why do my feet smell like corn chips?
My girlfriend wants to know why my feet smell like corn chips. I guess I do, too!
Hannah Critchlow answered this stinky question...
Hannah - Well, it's due to this little bacteria called Brevibacteria which are also use to ripen or mature certain types of cheeses.
These Brevibacteria are found on human skin, in a normal kind of way. When they're living in excess, they release chemicals called S-methyl thioesters. You may have even noticed that when you've eaten asparagus that your wee smells funny as well and that's because of the release of similar S-methyl thioesters, which smell very pungent.
So, the cheese smells cheesy because the Brevibacteria releasing S-methyl thioesters as part their normal metabolism. There's Brevibacteria on our feet too, and on our skin usually, and the hot weather at the moment is causing an outburst of this Brevibacterium - kind of a party on your feet, and they're releasing this chemical compound which smells of cheesy corn chips as Tad says.
Dominic - And I guess your feet are underneath socks and shoes and so that sweat isn't drying out, so it's a perfect environment for these bacteria?
Hannah - Exactly, yeah!