Your colon–yes, that 4-foot long tube residing in the deep recesses of your abdomen, ugly, slimy, kind of smelly, hardly something you’d think would represent the spoils of any battle–is a battleground.

The combatants? Bacteria.

Billions of bacteria live, work, fight, and die in your colon. Their work contributes in no small way to creating the stuff you emit into the toilet every day. Normally, they live in happy symbiosis with their host, even making useful contributions to our health, such as converting vitamin K1 in vegetables to vitamin K2 to play a role in bone and heart health.

But the normal bacteria have been fighting off the invading colon-equivalent of Al Quaeda: wheat lectins.

Nearly all plants contains lectins, proteins that provide the plant protection from predators like mold, fungus, and insects. And most lectins ingested by humans are harmless or have only minimal effects. Not so wheat lectins.

Wheat lectins are oddly impervious to digestion. What you eat is what you either absorb into the bloodstream or pass out in your stool. It means that, after other proteins, carbohydrates, and fats have been digested, the remnants making their way through your colon become concentrated in wheat lectins. It’s here where the high concentration of wheat lectins do their Weapons of Mass Destruction thing and cause good bacteria to die and encourages bad bacteria, like Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus lactis, to fluorish, a condition called “bacterial overgrowth.”

Wheat lectin-induced bacterial overgrowth causes gas, cramping, malabsorption of nutrients, and can lead to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis when the normal barriers to unwanted proteins are unlocked. The number of evil bacteria can grow a thousand-fold, overwhelming the helpless good bacteria. The evil bacteria winning the battle then invade northward, making their way as high as the duodenum and stomach. That’s when it gets really ugly.

Dietitians advise us to get more fiber, such as that in wheat like wheat bran. That’s how wheat lectins Trojan horse their way into your bowels.

Conventional response: antibiotics. Unconventional response: probiotics that repopulate the good guys. My response: Rid yourself of the colon WMD, wheat lectins and take back control of your colon!