In 1992 a significant relationship between bone turnover and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) genotype was reported in Australian subjects of UK-Irish decent. Since then, several groups have investigated the relationship between VDR and other bone-related genotypes, bone mass and bone turnover in several populations. However, the results of these studies are conflicting. Therefore, our aim was to determine bone-related genotypes in a population of healthy Irish adults and relate these genotypes to the rate of bone turnover. One hundred and eighteen healthy Irish adults (aged 19-67 yr) were recruited and fasting blood and first void urines were collected from each subject. Bone-related genotype frequencies in healthy Irish adults were similar to those reported in other Caucasian populations and were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Estrogen receptor (Pvu II or Xba I), apolipoprotein E and collagen IA1 genotypes were not related to bone turnover. The tt VDR genotype was associated with significantly higher serum osteocalcin (29% and 40%) compared with the Tt and TT genotypes, respectively. The ff VDR genotype was associated with significantly higher urinary pyridinoline (by approximately 44% and approximately 29%) and deoxypyridinoline (by approximately 76% and approximately 58%) levels and higher serum osteocalcin (by approximately 25% and approximately 53%) compared with the Ff or FF genotypes, respectively. These findings suggest that healthy Irish adults with either the tt or ff VDR genotype have higher rates of bone turnover than those with Tt or TT, or Ff or FF genotypes, respectively, and therefore may have a higher risk of low bone mineral density and osteoporosis in later life.