We previously demonstrated that glucose and glutamine, solutes metabolized by the gut, replenish ATP and enhance gut function compared with alanine, a solute not metabolized by the gut, following mesenteric ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). The purpose of the present study was to determine if the nonmetabolizable solute alanine differentially modulates cytoskeletal organization and paracellular small intestinal permeability compared with the metabolizable solutes glucose and glutamine following mesenteric I/R. At laparotomy, rats had jejunal sacs filled with 10 mM glucose, glutamine, alanine, or magnesium sulfate (5 mm, osmotic control) followed by superior mesenteric artery clamping for 60 min and 30 min of reperfusion or sham laparotomy. Jejunum was harvested for evaluation by deconvolution microscopy, fluorescent measurement of F:G actin ratio, or mounted in an Ussing chamber for determination of intestinal permeability. Deconvolution microscopy revealed that the actin cytoskeleton was preserved by enteral glutamine, comparable to shams, but disrupted by enteral alanine. Glucose and controls resulted in comparable disruption, which was less than that with alanine. The F:G actin ratio was highest for glutamine and lowest for alanine; glucose was comparable to controls. Intestinal permeability was highest for alanine and lowest for glutamine, which was comparable to shams. Permeability following glucose and controls was higher than that following glutamine but lower than that following alanine. The nonmetabolizable solute alanine resulted in disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and enhanced intestinal permeability under conditions of mesenteric I/R. The metabolizable solute glutamine was protective under these conditions, whereas glucose exerted minimal effect on the integrity of the cytoskeleton and intestinal permeability. The individual components of enteral diets may differentially modulate intestinal barrier function, which could have important implications when administered to critically injured patients.