An NHS doctor has uncovered the truth behind stinky feet, and while the cheesy smell isn’t exactly pleasant, it could be saving you from even bigger health problems
Catching a whiff of cheese when we take off our shoes usually sends us running to the shower to wash – but one doctor has claimed stinky feet serve a purpose, and could actually be helping our bodies in the long run.
Dr Karan Raj shared his findings in a video on TikTok, @dr.karanr, in which he explained having smelly feet could even “save your life”.
He said: “I want to share with you a fact that I recently learned that I just can’t believe – and it’s pretty incredible.
“There’s a reason we might have stinky feet – and stinky feet might just save your life.”
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The doctor started by noting there are “thousands” of lifeforms living on the surface of the human body, including our feet – and one of those lifeforms feeds on a type of amino acid found in foot sweat.
Dr Raj then explained that when the bacteria eats the amino acid, it “farts out” another acid which gives off the “cheesy” foot smell.
He added: “First of all, you have to understand that your body is riddled with life forms.
“The surface of your skin probably contains a thousand different species of bugs, and a lot of these bugs love to feed off of things that ooze out of your body like oils.
“Now, back to stinky feet. There’s a species of bacteria called bacillus subtilis that eats leucine, which is a common amino acid found in foot sweat.
“When this bacteria eats leucine, it farts out isoflavic acid – the cheesy, stinky, foot smell.”
And the doctor said that while the smell is unpleasant, the bacteria help our bodies by keeping nasty foot fungus at bay.
He said: “But why are our bodies feeding this weird bacteria? Good question.
“Our bodies are keeping around this bacteria because it produces chemicals and antibiotics that keep away foot fungus.”
Dr Raj’s video has been viewed almost 400,000 times, with many commenters left “fascinated” by the human body.
One person wrote: “Wow. That is interesting. We so easily overlook how fascinating our human form is. Thank you, Doctor.”
While another said: “You’re always so interesting, thanks!”