Recruited participants will be randomized in a stratified block fashion to one of the two intervention arms to ensure similar numbers of participants in each group (Fig. 1). Block sizes will be random and a multiplicative of two (the number of intervention arms). Because body composition and SAA metabolism differ by sex [24], the randomization will be stratified to ensure equal number of males and females in each intervention arm. Randomization will be performed by a researcher unrelated to the study using the “blockrand” package in the R software (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). The randomization code will be kept separate from the researchers and analysts until the end of study.

Blinding of the study participants and investigators is usually not possible in a dietary intervention. However, this trial will be double blind, since the base diet is identical for both groups and the only difference is whether they receive capsules with or without methionine and cysteine. Data analysts will be blinded to the group allocation during analysis of the primary outcome.

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