Pomegranates have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years to treat infections, diarrhoea, ulcers, and are still regarded in some parts as a potent fertility booster. More recently, there has been interest due to their high antioxidant levels, along with research suggesting anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties. Pomegranates are rich in many nutrients and contain high levels of ellagitannins (including punicalagins) and ellagic acid. These compounds act as potent antioxidants and are said to be responsible for multiple health benefits including helping with weight control and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. In addition, early studies have shown that these compounds can increase the numbers of healthy bacteria in the gut, and inhibit growth of bacteria thereby helping reduce disease incidence.