It's the help your heart needs when your heart needs help the most: A new study finds that the curry spice turmeric can help you survive bypass surgery and avoid a heart attack during your recovery.

Researchers from Thailand randomly assigned 121 bypass patients to either a gram of curcumin -- the main compound in turmeric -- taken four times a day, or a placebo for three days before and five days after the procedure.

Those who got the curcumin were 65 percent less likely to have a heart attack in that time than those who got the placebo, even after adjusting for other possible risk factors.

Those who got the real deal also had lower levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein as well as malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress -- and I'm sure that's because curcumin is both a powerful anti-inflammatory and a terrific antioxidant.

And you don't have to be a heart patient to enjoy those benefits.

Get some now, and you can lower your risk of even getting those cardiovascular problems in the first place, since studies on mice have shown that curcumin can help clear fatty deposits from the arteries.

Other studies have shown it may help prevent arrhythmias, while still other research has found that curcumin can fight everything from inflammatory bowel disease to cancer to arthritis.

One study I just told you about found it might even help reverse the damage of Parkinson's disease.

Indian foods might be the most delicious way to get curcumin, but it's not the most efficient -- especially here in the United States, where most people simply don't eat it all that often.

Fortunately, curcumin supplements are inexpensive and easy to find -- just make sure yours comes from a company you trust and not the local dollar store.