Czech Beer Is Designed for Cancer Patients' Tastes – Medscape

A brewing company in the Czech Republic has developed a nonalcoholic beer that is specially formulated so that cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and experiencing impaired taste can still enjoy their national beverage, according to various news reports.

Mamma Beer is brewed with fewer hops to be less bitter than regular beer, because bitterness can be a component of dysgeusia, the altered sense of taste that is common during cancer treatment. The beer is also diluted with apple juice for sweetening.

Mamma is Latin for breast. The beer is the brainchild of a breast-cancer advocacy group, Mamma HELP, a nonprofit organization that operates counseling and support centers in multiple cities in the Czech Republic.

Jana Drexlerová, the group’s chief executive officer, is a breast cancer survivor who enjoys beer. In 1999, the organization commissioned a pink lager for a fundraiser. In early 2018, they had another idea: a nonalcoholic beer with potassium and vitamin B added.

“I wanted the beer to boost nutrition and improve health during treatment,” Drexlerová recently told National Public Radio.

“It was also important for me to give these women back a sense of normalcy in their lives,” she said.

Beer is considered a healthy tonic by some Czech clinicians, including Karolína Hovorková, MD, an oncologist who distributes Mamma Beer samples to her patients at her clinic in Prague.

Regular beer with alcohol can boost vitamin intake, aid digestion, and stimulate the appetite, said Hovorková, who recommends small amounts to patients before and after treatment.

Nonalcoholic Mamma Beer is currently a limited edition brew, according to thedrinksbusiness.com, a trade journal. The specialty drink has been distributed to oncology practices and pharmacies throughout the Czech Republic and is served at beer and food shows.

Mamma Beer is produced by Zatec Brewery, in the town Zatec, which is known

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