Women who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have lower risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study analysis conducted by researchers from Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The analysis involved eight cohort studies, which gathered over 80% of the world's published prospective data on plasma or serum carotenoids and breast cancer. Carotenoids are micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables that are considered to have anti-carcinogenic properties.

In over 3,000 case subjects researchers found that the higher the levels of circulating carotinoids in a woman's body, the lower were her chances of developing breast cancer.

"Carotenoids also may be directly anticarcinogenic by several other mechanisms, including improved gap junction communication, enhanced immune system functioning, or antioxidant scavenging of reactive oxygen species; this may inhibit cellular dysregulation or DNA damage," researchers wrote.

An estimated 226,870 women will develop breast cancer in 2012, according to National Cancer institute. Risk factors for breast cancer include, gender, age and menstrual cycle along with certain genetic mutations.

The study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.