About the Howard Foundation

The Howard Foundation Group of Companies is based upon intellectual property owned by the Howard Foundation and is managed by Howard Foundation Holdings Limited, a UK company.

Until September 2005, the Group owned Cambridge Manufacturing Company Limited, which manufactures and distributes “The Cambridge Diet” throughout the UK and worldwide through a chain of international companies.

The Foundation currently holds patents in the fields of macular carotenoids including eye health and brain function. Licences have been granted across the world in respect of these nutriceuticals. Leading licensed macular carotenoid supplement brands include Macuhealth and Memory Health in the Americas and MacuPrime in Europe.

Dr Alan Howard (left) created the Foundation in 1982 with himself as the chair and his son, Jonathan Howard (right) as secretary. Here, they are photographed outside the Howard Building at Downing College, Cambridge. Photo  ©Tim Rawle


Chair – Julie Lambert

Julie Lambert, née Howard, completed a degree in Physiology and Biochemistry at Southampton University in 1980, and thereafter a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics in London. Her working life has been spent as a research Dietitian in London and Oxford, and as a state-registered Dietitian at several hospitals in Oxford. From 1996 until her retirement in 2020, she worked as a Senior Dietitian specialising in the treatment of adults with eating disorders. Julie is the Oxfordshire co-ordinator of the Dyspraxia Foundation. Julie joined as a trustee in 2010 and became chair of the Foundation in September 2020, following the death of her father. She is also a director of Howard Foundation Holdings Limited. On 25 February 2022, Julie was awarded a Foundation Fellowship by Downing College, Cambridge.

Alice Fleet

Alice Fleet has devoted much of her working life to the hospitality industry. Amongst her many diverse and successful ventures, she has managed an award-winning seafood restaurant, run a successful outside catering business and introduced the first cookery school to Cambridge to critical acclaim. She was Secretary to the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum from 1997 to 2004, which allowed her to further her interest in the arts. As the wife of the late Dr Stephen Fleet, past master of Downing College, Cambridge, she retains a strong involvement in the College through the students, staff, fellowship and alumni. Since her retirement, many charitable causes have benefited from her expertise. She is a former vice-chairman of, and currently volunteers at, the Newcomers and Visiting Scholars Group of the University of Cambridge.

Dr David Thurnham

David Thurnham is Emeritus Professor Of Human Nutrition at the University of Ulster and an independent consultant on nutrition. His interests centred on micronutrients, for example the carotenoids, which provide both vitamin A and lutein and play important roles in eye health and immunity. He was the Howard Professor of Human Nutrition at the University for ten years and a senior scientist at the Dunn Nutrition Laboratory in Cambridge prior to that.

Secretary – Jonathan Howard

Jonathan Howard, known as Jon, obtained a Law degree at Cambridge University and then qualified as a solicitor, working for over five years in the Leeds office of what is now Eversheds (Solicitors). With his father Dr Alan Howard, he co-founded the Howard Foundation Charitable Trust in 1982 and together they launched the Cambridge Diet in the UK in 1984. Jon served as director of the product’s manufacturing and marketing companies at home and abroad from inception until the Group was sold by Management Buyout in 2005.  Jon was also a parliamentary candidate in 1992, 1994 and 1997. Jon is secretary to the Howard Foundation and a director of Howard Foundation Holdings Limited. Jon was elected a Wilkins Fellow at Downing College on October 2007, and as a Foundation Fellow in February 2022.

Founder – Dr Alan N Howard

Alan Howard was an Honorary Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge University and Honorary Professor at the University of Ulster. His career at Cambridge University spanned 50 years and he held positions in the Department of Investigative Medicine and Pathology as well as at the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, before founding his own laboratory at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, which was closed in 1999. He published over 250 original articles in medical literature and authored and edited 8 major books on coronary heart disease and obesity. He was co-founder of the International Journal of Obesity and was involved in the foundation of the International Congress on Obesity and the European Atherosclerosis Society. His work on obesity led to the development of Very Low Calorie Diets, leading to a number of commercial products including his own formulation of the Cambridge Diet, which has been used by millions of people world-wide. In 1982, he established the Howard Foundation, a charitable trust which has provided three buildings at Downing College, Cambridge, between 1987 and 2009 as well as sponsoring bio-medical research at the Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Dr Howard died aged 91 on 24 June 2020.