Beta-glucan in barley has been reported as the key ingredient that promotes beneficial health effects. These benefits may extend to as far as lowering cholesterol, modulating the immune system, and preventing cancer. The goal of this mini-review is to perform an analysis of available literature and determine the mechanism of action of high molecular weight barley and roasted barley in addressing the above listed disease states. The review has implications for health educators, public health professionals, nutritionists, alternative health practitioners, and the research community involved in food science. It serves as a base to build upon for seeking further solutions.