The association between current and past dietary intake and bone mineral density (BMD) was investigated in 994 healthy premenopausal women aged 45-49 y. BMD was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Dietary intake was assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Energy-adjusted nutrient intakes were grouped into quartiles and mean BMD at the lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN), femoral trochanter (FT), and femoral Wards (FW) were calculated. With higher intakes of zinc, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, LS BMD was significantly higher (P < 0.05-0.006), and a significant difference in LS BMD was also found between the lowest and highest quartiles for these nutrients and vitamin C intake (P < 0.05-0.01). These results remained significant after adjustment for important confounding factors. LS BMD and FT BMD were lower in women reporting a low intake of milk and fruit in early adulthood than in women with a medium or high intake (P < 0.01). High, long-term intake of these nutrients may be important to bone health, possibly because of their beneficial effect on acid-base balance.