Little is known about the relation of dietary factors to circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations in young adults and non-Western populations. We cross-sectionally examined associations between dietary intake and serum CRP concentrations in young Japanese women. The subjects were 443 female Japanese dietetic students aged 18 to 22 years. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated, self-administered, comprehensive, diet history questionnaire. Serum CRP concentrations were measured by highly sensitive nephelometry. The prevalence of elevated CRP (> or = 1 mg/L) was 5.6%. After adjustment for possible confounding factors including body mass index, a significant inverse association was seen between total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and elevated CRP. The multivariate adjusted odds ratios of elevated CRP for women with intake below and above the median (1.1% of energy) were 1.00 and 0.33 (95% confidence interval, 0.13-0.82; P = .02), respectively. Intake of eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid and alpha-linolenic acid was not associated with elevated CRP concentrations (P = .62 and P = .27, respectively). Vitamin C intake was independently inversely associated with elevated CRP, although the association was nonsignificant (P = .10). No clear associations were observed for other dietary factors examined including total fat, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, total dietary fiber, soluble dietary fiber, insoluble dietary fiber, and magnesium; fruits, vegetables, and fish and shellfish; and dietary glycemic load (P = .27 to P = .99). In conclusion, total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake showed an independent inverse association with elevated serum CRP concentration in a group of young Japanese women.