PARIS (AFP) - Men who regularly do heart-pounding exercise are less likely to develop cancer, according to a study released Tuesday. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that the key factor in the reduced risk of cancer was a higher rate of oxygen consumption. A team of researchers from the universities of Kuopio and Oulu in Finland studied the leisure-time physical activity over a 12-month period of 2,560 men between 42 and 61 years old with no history of cancer. Over an average follow-up period of 16 years, 181 of the subjects died from cancer, mostly of the stomach or intestines, lungs, prostate and brain. Using an intensity scale for physical exercise that measured metabolic units of oxygen consumption, the scientists found that the men who exercised for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to get cancer as those who did not. The sharpest reductions occurred in gastrointenstinal and lung cancers, and held true even when other factors age, alcohol consumption, smoking, weight were taken into account. The intensity of leisure-time physical activity should be at least moderate so that beneficial effect ... for reducing overall cancer mortality can be achieved, the researchers conclude. Meanwhile, a study on Tuesday revealed that shunned by many as a source of artery-clogging cholesterol, calcium-rich dairy products consumed in childhood may in some cases add years to ones life. A 65-year follow-up to a 1930s survey of more than 1,300 families in England and Scotland showed that a diet high in milk, cheese and butter did not lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, children with the largest intake of calcium from dairy enjoyed a lower death rate from strokes, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Heart disease risk factors begin in childhood, but evidence to date has been inconclusive as to whether dairy consumption at an early age helps or hurts. Some experts have argued that the high fat content in full-butter dairy products contributes to heart problems later in life. A team of researchers led by Jolieke van der Pols, a scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, followed up with 4,374 people who took part as children in the late 1930s in a study of food consumption. By 2005, 34 percent of them 1,468 individuals had died, 378 from coronary heart disease and 121 from strokes. No evidence was found of a link between intake of dairy products and either of these causes of mortality. Surprising, however, childhood intake of calcium mainly from milk and milk-derived comestibles corresponded to a lower rate of death by stroke. Furthermore, childhood diets rich in dairy or calcium were associated with lower all-cause mortality in adulthood, the study concluded. The authors cautioned that further studies were needed to confirm the findings, which may result in part from other factors such as income levels and occupation.