Osteoporosis is a common disorder with a strong genetic component. Our aim was to evaluate the correlation of the vitamin D receptor gene intron 8 BsmI polymorphism with bone mineral density (BMD) and their relationship to osteoporosis. We determined the vitamin D receptor gene intron 8 BsmI polymorphism using polymerase chain reaction-based restriction analysis in 171 postmenopausal Chinese women in Taiwan. The polymorphism was detected using the restriction enzyme BsmI, where the B allele indicated absence of the cuttable site and the b allele its presence. BMD of the lumbar spine and proximal femur were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The allelic frequencies for postmenopausal Chinese women in Taiwan were 12.3% for B and 87.7% for b in BsmI restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The prevalence of each genotype in the study population was: 6.4% BB, 11.7% Bb and 81.9% bb. The three genotypic groups differed significantly in BMD at the lumbar spine and the femoral neck. These differences corresponded to significant gene-dose effects at the lumbar spine and femoral neck (p<0.001 for both sites). The relative risk for the development of osteoporosis was about 2–3 times as great as that predicted by the differences between genotypes in BMD, and remained significant even after adjustment for age, height and weight. The vitamin D receptor gene intron 8 BsmI polymorphism is associated with reduced BMD and predisposes women to osteoporosis.