For many people with cancer, chemotherapy can be a major drag. Common side effects include weakness, nausea, hair loss and cognitive decline. But one that many people aren’t prepared for is dysgeusia, aka “chemo mouth,” a phenomenon that causes food to taste bland, bitter, metallic or simply disgusting. In an effort to combat this unappetizing side effect, a Czech brewery has crafted a beer especially for breast cancer patients undergoing chemo, Smithsonian reports.
The beverage, Mamma Beer, is alcohol-free, full of vitamins and minerals and created with a special flavor profile to help patients overcome dysgeusia during treatment. The idea for the beer came from two breast cancer survivors—Jana Drexelerova, the CEO of Prague-based advocacy group Mamma Help, and Tereza Sverakova, who works at the ad agency Y&R. The two women pitched their idea to several breweries before Zatec Brewery, located 40 miles outside the Czech capital, ended up agreeing to produce it.
Mamma Beer, which took about six months to develop, is brewed to taste less bitter than normal
As for whether the beer will come to America is unclear. Several other companies are currently aiming to develop foods and drinks to combat chemo mouth as well, including Amsterdam-based HungerNDThirst Foundation, though none seems to have yet mastered the chemistry or production.