Results from observational studies of the association between vitamin A intake or serum concentration and bone mineral density or fracture are mixed. The inconsistencies may be due, in part, to difficulties in obtaining an accurate assessment of vitamin A intake or status. Serum retinol is a poor measure of vitamin A status because it is subject to homeostatic control. Stable-isotope-dilution methodology gives a validated assessment of the total-body and liver vitamin A stores and is recommended in future studies on vitamin A status and osteoporosis. The potential for exacerbating an already serious public health problem with intakes of vitamin A currently considered safe indicates further research into this matter is warranted.