Don't feel bad if you've never heard of taurine. Most people haven't, and that apparently includes Microsoft since it's not even in my spellchecker.

It's an amino acid found in the tastiest part of the chicken, aka the dark meat you've been told not to eat.

Well, go ahead and eat up -- because a new study finds that some women with high dietary levels of taurine have a lower risk of a heart attack.

Researchers from the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York checked the records on more than 14,000 women between the ages of 34 and 65, and found...almost nothing.

Not at first, anyway.

But once they started to break the numbers down, they found that high blood levels of taurine slashed the risk of heart disease by 60 percent in women with total cholesterol levels of more than 250 mg/dL.

The study doesn't prove that taurine lowers heart risk, nor does it indicate why that connection would even exist. But let's take a stab at it here and guess that women with higher cholesterol AND high taurine came by their cholesterol levels honestly.

They're eating natural meats and dairy -- all great sources of taurine -- and if their cholesterol levels happen to be a little elevated by mainstream standards, they've really got nothing to worry about.

And thanks to that healthier diet, they're probably going to have a lower risk of a heart attack anyway.

Women with high cholesterol and low taurine, on the other hand, might be getting their chicken from a greasy paper bucket and other nutritionally empty sources -- and that's the best way to ensure you'll experience heart problems eventually.

Again, that's just a guess. And since this is just one study, I wouldn't rush out to stock up on taurine in any case (but feel free to grill up some chicken thighs).

When it comes to protecting your ticker, stick with the tried-and-true. And for some tips on the best tried-and-true nutrients out there, I turned to one of the nation's leading experts on natural health.

Dr. Mark Stengler, a California naturopath and author of multiple best-selling books on natural cures, says there are four supplements everyone interested in cardiovascular health should be taking: fish oil, coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine and magnesium.

If you're missing out on any of these, do your heart a favor and add them to your supplement regimen today. They're inexpensive, easy to find and they could save your life.